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If You’re Only Going to Read One Oyster Book This Year, Oscar’s Day Out Is It!

By Heather Flanagan
May 18, 2016

Oscar’s Day Out, as the back cover tells us, “follows Oscar the Oyster and his life in the city.  He teaches us about all his friends and how they can help the environment.”  It features ridiculously adorable drawings of the titular anthropomorphic oyster, and such fantastic lines as “My ocean was lonely and people stopped fishing.  The big blue turned brown and left me wishing.”  Plus it even includes a glossary with words like “biodiversity,” “estuary,” and “algae blooms”!

…did we mention it was written by a student?

Teacher Emily Chandler’s class at P.S. 371 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, is currently participating in the Billion Oyster Project Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (BOP-CCERS), a partnership of non-profits, universities, and the NYC Department of Education, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.  BOP-CCERS fellows like Emily engage their students in hands-on restoration science, including multiple trips a year to the class’ Oyster Restoration Station (ORS)– but the work isn’t limited to science classrooms.  Between the Billion Oyster Project’s curriculum specialists and the talented teachers in the program, BOP-CCERS is growing a huge body of interdisciplinary curriculum that ties together STEM subjects with humanities and the arts.  Oscar’s Day Out is a wonderful piece of student work that embodies this, weaving together science, writing, and art.

Oscar’s Day Out came about when Emily tasked her high school students with writing a book about an environmental topic for a fourth grade class.  Her student Cassie decided to write about oysters based on her experiences with the Billion Oyster Project.  Emily was kind enough to photograph it and send it along, noting, “Hope you love it as much as I did.  I was so impressed with her work, and that she chose to write about our oyster restoration amongst the many environmental science topics we studied this year.  You can see why I didn’t want to give it up- I hope those fourth graders appreciate how awesome that book is!”

And now, without further ado, please enjoy Oscar’s Day Out!  (We know we did!)

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Interested in reading more about BOP-CCERS and how we’re bringing hands-on restoration science to classrooms all over the city?  Sign up for our newsletter and click here to read all BOP-CCERS posts!