Panther Story Captivates Children

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This summer, more than 500 elementary school students delighted in the story of a Florida panther that is relocated to a new home.

The students participated in summer reading programs in Palm Beach and St. Johns counties. The story was brought to them by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. Felina’s New Home, A Florida Panther Story is written by Loran Wlodarski and illustrated by Lew Clayton. It describes a Florida panther living in a wilderness area that is being rapidly encroached upon by civilization. She experiences challenges with highways, humans providing food to her prey, and recreational use of land. Felina is in need of a new home and the story has a happy ending.

The Corps received permission from Sylvan Dell Publishing to incorporate the story into an interactive PowerPoint presentation. Corps’ Outreach Program Specialist Erica Robbins read the storybook to seven summer reading program groups: six in north Florida and one in Palm Beach County. All children received a mask of one of seven of the animals featured in the book. The students then participated in fun and engaging activities about the Florida panther, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, gopher tortoise, Wood Stork, American Crocodile, Florida manatee and Texas puma. Students learned about Florida panther habitat, other animals that live in panther habitat, and how many species share similar problems.

For more information, please call Ms. Robbins at 561-472-8893 or by e-mail at Erica.A.Robbins@usace.army.mil

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To view more pictures go to: http://www.evergladesplan.org./news/features/080910_felina.aspx

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