The Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve began providing school-based programs in
2011. Lee County Parks and Recreation made the rights available for several Earth
Education programs developed by Steve Van Matre ( One
such program for 3rd graders is Home Sweet Home. This program is a highly
participatory and stimulating ecological concept building learning experience. The
focus is upon developing a deeper understanding of one ecological concept
utilizing a problem-solving story line, peer-to-peer interactions and ongoing roles
for the participants. The leader sets up and directs the overall activity.  Participants
take on the roles of various plants and animals and engage in a Home Tour of three
natural ecosystems. They must find the appropriate community in which to live.
Along the way, they learn that all living things live in a community. As in all good
stories there is a twist in the plot and the children must discover a way around what
happens.  Other programs that are offered include Magic Spots for 3rd graders as
well as Connection Inspection and Ed' Diary for 4th graders.

This interactive program was provided to over 200 children in our first year and the
schools served were Heights Elementary IB World School, Fort Myers Beach
Elementary and Bonita Springs Elementary. Since that first year, we have added
programs for Tice and Gulf Elementary Schools. Funding is being provided by the
Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation and the Friends of Matanzas Pass
Preserve and we are very grateful!

Since our first year, we have served five schools and 865 children through our
programs. Our 2015 3rd and 4th grade brochures contain the essence of these
programs. You can access the 3rd grade brochure
here and the 4th grade brochure

If  you are interested in being an observer or volunteer contact Dorothy Rodwell. (239) 851-7166.
Fort Myers Beach
Lee County, Florida
Educational Programs