Raising Trout in the Classroom
Normally at home in cool lakes and streams, some trout found unlikely new habitats during the past school year - five Children’s Aid Society community schools in the Bronx, East Harlem and Washington Heights. Much to the delight of students like seventh grader Kereem Vidal and sixth grader Tyshawn White, their classes were selected to participate in Trout in the Classroom, a program of national organization Trout Unlimited.
Designed to give students an understanding of water resources and foster a conservation ethic, the program allows students to study and raise trout from eggs, eventually releasing them into approved streams and lakes. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is a primary partner in Trout in the Classroom in schools throughout the city.
With the help of Department of Education teachers and Children’s Aid staff, the students enthusiastically took on the challenge of raising trout. Kereem, a student at Children’s Aid Society Community School IS 98 in the Bronx, enjoyed the upkeep and maintenance of the tank in his classroom and liked being directly responsible for caring for the fish. Tyshawn was interested in the fact that the tanks needed to be kept at 55 degrees to replicate the natural environment of the trout. He was inspired to research the effect that water has on animal life worldwide.
After a school year spent monitoring the fish tanks and learning about trout and water resources, the students traveled to Ward Pound Ridge in Westchester County in mid-May to release the trout into a stream and observe nature firsthand.
Thanks to Ted Tafaro, whose generosity has made it possible for Children’s Aid to participate in the Trout in the Classroom program, the students have a new-found interest in and appreciation of wildlife, the environment and the water they use daily.
Top Photo (left to right): Christian Cruz, Joshua Ruiz and Tyshawn White tend to the trout in their classroom.