Halifax County Public School’s Marine Biology and Herpetology Center located at Halifax County Middle School was recently featured in the Virginia School Board Association’s Showcases for Success directory.

The showcase highlights successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools, and HCPS was one of 56 school divisions that have programs featured.

A grand opening for the Marine and Herpetology Center was held in January, and it is one of two in Virginia.

Over 30 species are maintained for hands-on activities and also featured are two saltwater touch tanks, lizards, snakes, turtles and invertebrates.

All of the organisms are taken care of by the students, which give them ownership over the center and their learning.

From kindergarten to 12th grade, the center focuses on at least four major science SOL strands, and because of this the center is open to all students in the district.

Student ambassadors from the middle school lead classes through the center, focusing specifically on their teacher’s learning goal.

This allows students to see, touch and feel their way through science, make real-world connections and truly interact with what they are learning to gain a deeper understanding, school officials said.

The full VSBA Showcases for Success directory is available at www.vsba.org/showcases. It includes division-wide programs as well as those at elementary, middle and high school levels.

The focus of the 2019 VSBA Showcases for Success is career, college and life ready, highlighting diverse programs in Virginia’s public schools that aim to prepare students for whatever pathway they choose after their K-12 education.

For more information about the VSBA Showcases for Success, contact Gina Patterson, VSBA executive director, at gina@vsba.org or 434-295-8722.