2005 Education Department Five Year Plan

Big Cat Rescue’s Education Department

Five Year Plan 2002 to 2007

The following plan is intended to guide the activities of the Education Branch over the next five years in order to achieve the goals set out in the mission statement.

The five-year plan includes recommendations for additional budget and facilities. Without increased support in these areas, the plan can not be completed as outlined. While expenditures will increase to allow for additional staff and resources, the revenues will also increase proportionally.

Mission:

To encourage a caring attitude toward wildlife and its habitats by creating a positive bond between people and our animal ambassadors that will inspire them to protect their habitat.

To promote public understanding to save wildlife in its natural environment.

To point out exotic animals undesirability as pets.

To serve as a model, mentor and informational resource for other animal-related facilities.

Objectives:

 

Increase the number and variety of public programs

Visitors who attend an education program benefit by becoming more knowledgeable about the Sanctuary and the importance of conservation. Fee-based programs  provide revenues that can be used to support the operational costs of the program as well as other educational services.

Steps (fee-based programs):

Develop activities that focus on conservation.
Renovate the existing Education Facility to include visual aids, reference library, video library and other classroom supplies. Additional space for programs and staff will be made available if the Gift Shop and retail staff secure new facilities.
Build a new education facility that can serve as a meeting place for businesses, civic groups and school groups.
Update and expand visual aids by purchasing current technological tools.
Increase the variety of programs by targeting groups of different ages and interests.
Increase the educational value of Sanctuary visits for teachers and their students by creating age-specific Sunshine State Standards curriculum for use before, during and after tours.
Develop a communications plan that coordinate educational messages throughout the Sanctuary.
Create a curriculum for the current Summer Camp that meets the Sunshine State Standards for education.
Train current volunteers to present programs throughout the year on a regular basis. When financially feasible, additional permanent staff should be hired.
Continue to foster partnerships with local organizations having similar objectives and expand our presence in the community.

Steps (programs without a fee):

Continue to offer a variety of free programs, presented by Volunteers, for general visitors and schools.
Create a needs based application to help determine which groups qualify for free or reduced rate programs.
Make the Education information on the website more accessible and easier to use for teachers and students.

 

Further our reach into the community and beyond

Although the Sanctuary attracts many visitors each year, they are often  either apathetic or misinformed about the objectives of the Sanctuary and its potential as an educational resource. To reach these people, we must continually broadcast our message into the community.

Steps:

Maintain the Education Committee involving volunteers who can create opportunities for growth and present new ideas.
Contact local media and propose that a regular column/feature on the Sanctuary be included.
Regularly submit an educational article to be included in the quarterly newsletter.
Foster community awareness and involvement with the Sanctuary.
Build a new education facility that can serve as a meeting place for businesses, civic groups and school groups.

 

Develop an evaluation system for educational programs & materials

To improve our service, we need to know what we are doing well and what should be improved. Evaluations can also be used to determine the “real effects” of a program and are an on-going requirement for success.

Steps:

Continue to develop and update evaluation tools for our education program.
Continue to update the evaluation forms sent to teachers after their class visit to the Sanctuary.
Evaluate and review program materials on a bi-annual basis.

 

The Education Committee of Big Cat Rescue reserves the right to revise and update this plan as necessary.

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