Turtles teach kids Caymanian heritage

Students from the Bodden Town Primary School had the chance to get up close and personal with turtles with the launch of the second part of Deloitte’s Turtle Education Outreach Programme, which aims to educate students from a young age about green sea turtles, and the importance of preserving them and their environment.

kids cayman heritage

The students actively participated during the educational presentation. Photo: Submitted

On 20 October, representatives from Deloitte and Boatswain’s Beach presented a slideshow to about 120 attentive and excited children in grades one through four. It highlighted the difference between land turtles and sea turtles, the reason why green sea turtles were given the name and how to identify male and female turtles, among other things.

The students learned that turtles are older than dinosaurs, and they were able to view a photo of a very large prehistoric turtle skeleton.

A stuffed specimen of a Hawksbill turtle named Charley gave the students a visual description of the various types of turtles and they were better able to relate to this type when the slide depicting a Hawksbill turtle appeared on the screen.

‘It was gratifying to see the children so enthusiastic about the presentation,’ said Boatswain’s Beach Education Officer Kristal Karjohn. ‘Our goal was to have the children take the conservational lessons they learned today and include them into their everyday lives.

‘Especially with regard to the turtles, this is an integral part of the Caymanian heritage. The lessons focused on empowering kids with everyday actions that they can take that are easy for them to do, such as keeping our beaches clean so there is less chance for the oceans to get polluted with materials such as plastic bags and straws that turtles may ingest.’

The multi-phased programme began in January 2009 with Deloitte’s sponsorship of Dot, a female breeder green sea turtle at Cayman’s Boatswain’s Beach.

At the end of the presentation the students were treated to a special up close viewing of live baby turtles only two weeks old. Each student was also given a gift, an activity book created by Deloitte to commemorate the life of Dot.

‘The students were delighted to see such vivid pictures of the turtles in Cayman and to learn more about different species throughout the world,’ said Principal of Bodden Town Primary Cetonya Cacho.

‘It was a wonderful experience to have people in the community come into the school to share their expertise with our children,’ she said. ‘We teach our kids that learning can come from many different places and this was a perfect example. This partnership with Deloitte allowed a platform for learning and exploration for our students.’