Manning Microscopes

Students Learn By The Lake During Educational Event

Kindergarten students from Bemus Point Elementary School visited the village park to learn about Chautauqua Lake. The event is in its third year with the goal of raising awareness among the young students regarding the lake. P-J photos by Jordan W. Patterson

BEMUS POINT — Manning microscopes atop picnic tables within view of Chautauqua Lake, kindergarten students began making the connection between the body of water and the surrounding community.

Sprawled throughout the Bemus Point Lakeside Park, Bemus Point Elementary School kindergarten students participated in different work stations in an attempt educate themselves about the lake.

“Even though they’re kindergarteners, they really rise to the challenge,” said Lindsay Russell, Bemus Point kindergarten teacher.

Bemus Point has hosted its “Shore by our Door” event for three years as a method of teaching Kindergarten students about the lake’s impact, its management and the life within it.

Tessa Johnson, Bemus Point kindergarten master teacher, said students and parents from the community have responded positively to the program since its creation.

“For our students in Bemus Point, the lake is a really part of our community and it’s our job to ignite that spark of stewardship in our (students),” said Tessa Thompson.

“We want them to understand the relationship that our community has with the lake and understand how they can be a part of keeping it healthy for future generations.”

The entire Bemus Point kindergarten class of 32 students attended the third annual event.

Various stations were available for students to view water from the lake under a microscope and utilize PH testing of lake water, among other activities related to the body of water.

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, the Audubon Community Nature Society, the Chautauqua Lake Association, Bemus Point staff and student volunteers were all present participating in Friday’s program.

“It’s a great way to end our year. Our kids bring everything together, “ Johnson said. “They do a research project every year on a lake animal – they a write a story on that as well. It’s fun for the kids. It’s fun for the parents and it helps us building toward that stewardship idea.”

After the lakeside activities in the park, the students also tour the village to better understand the connection between the community and the lake. The students also visit the local library to continue the awareness program.

“I love what the kids take away from it. This is something that they remember during their years (in school) and our other elementary staff members build on this,” Johnson said.