Laura Craven Duncan
Laura Craven Duncan (’84) is National Board Certified Teacher, but she is not only known for her teaching skills. Now a first-grade teacher in Perquimans County Schools in North Carolina, Laura formerly taught at Ballentine Elementary in Irmo, South Carolina. While at Ballentine, she and her classroom were written up in the regional school newsletter for raising more than $3,000 for the South Carolina Sea Turtle Rescue – a sea turtle hospital located at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston. This was their second year to accomplish this impressive feat.
She used the opportunity to teach her class about the plight of this endangered species, and the wonders of this magnificent creature. Students learned about South Carolina’s state reptile, the Loggerhead turtle, and got to see the Loggerhead up close when the senior biologist at the Sea Turtle Rescue visited the school. Her students visited the Sea Turtle Rescue facility to present the check, and to tour the operation. The school’s technology assistant creates sea turtle commercials to be shown during the school news each morning so that everyone in the school can learn about turtles. Laura said the televisions spots had a dual purpose. “The commercials were so important to our students because they not only helped us advertise our fundraiser, but they also allowed students to share ways we can all make a difference in helping save the turtles.”
Each year the class put together an item to sell that displays original artwork by the students –a calendar, a magnet, a book. One year they made reusable shopping bags which also encouraged less use of plastic bags. (Bags floating in the water look like the sea creature that is a major part of a turtle’s diet: jellyfish.)
“This experience impacted every child and showed them the importance of how we can protect endangered species. They are learning while making a positive difference for the environment.”
Now in a new school system, she received a grant in 2017 to take all the school’s first graders to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island this semester.”Most of our students have never been to the beach, only 55 miles away, or explored any of our county’s 100 miles of shoreline.It will be the chance of a lifetime for many.”
“Students find they can learn while also making a positive difference for the environment.”
– Laura Craven Duncan ’84