OKC Zoo hosts program to help local students through virtual learning


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The COVID-19 pandemic has left some parents struggling to balance work and manage their kids virtual learning, so the Oklahoma City Zoo is lending a helping hand. 

It’s not your typical classroom, but there’s a lot of learning happening. 

“Teaching to these kiddos is just something that we are experts at we love it,” said Erica Buckwalter, the zoo’s family and interpretive programs manager.

It’s a place where children can be in their online classroom without being at home. 

“They know that hummingbirds are tiny… but did you know they are this tiny?” said Buckwalter describing things they’ll be learning. 

Each class is limited to 8 students so they can social distance.

“We can pop out to the zoo if we want to and then we come back and say hey for an hour we’re going to have you guys work on your homework,” said Buckwalter. 

Daily activities will be focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math. 

“So much innovation is happening in our world and we want these kids to stay on the forefront of that,” said Buckwalter. 

Week one’s theme was birds… and included a special guest. 

“Hi Muppy!” said Buckwalter speaking to Muppet the tawny frogmouth. “We’re talking about beaks we’re talking about feathers and kids get to see that on a live animal.”

All while trying to help bring a little normalcy to students. 

“Are they missing their friends? Are they getting that stimulation that they would normally get at school? and by dropping them here at the zoo we can make sure that we are meeting all of those needs,” said Buckwalter. 

There is still room to sign up, for kids in any district. 

The program will run to the end of October. 

You can sign up for the OKC Zoo’s Safari Study Hall here.

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