“Connecting kids and animals is the first part of our mission. And it’s exactly what our On-grounds Interpreters are here for. They are the liaison between the animals and our guests,” says Amanda Pressler, On-grounds Interpreter Team Leader.
The program launched with the 2016 season and includes three On-grounds Interpreter Team Leaders and a team of more than 30 Interpreters.
You can find the On-grounds Interpreters at popular, interactive exhibits like the Giraffe Platform, Stingray Bay, Kangaroo Yard, Family Farm Barn, and Outback Springs. They want to answer your questions, such as what a stingray feels like or how best to build a dam in the stream. Our on-grounds Interpreters are here to help you make the most of your visit!
There is always something new to learn at the zoo, and we want you to take home new information about our animals every time you visit. If you have a question about one of our animals, ask an On-grounds Interpreter. Their blue shirts and big yellow “Ask Me!” buttons stand out in a crowd. On-grounds Interpreters love to share unique character traits of the animals at our zoo, important information about their cousins in the wild, and answer any general questions you have about the zoo.
Our new program has already impacted the zoo by giving us the opportunity to hear what our guests want and need. So come to the zoo and ask questions! The more questions you ask, the better we can educate our guests. We love your feedback and want to hear what you are learning at the zoo.
On-grounds Interpreters are even here through our new late hours (last admission is at 7 p.m.; grounds close at 8 p.m. from now through Labor Day). We can’t wait to answer your questions. Just ask!
Click on photos to enlarge:
A: The Zoomobile Fleet
Do you remember the Zoomobile coming to your school? Our Zoomobile program has been visiting schools since 1969!
Zoo education manager Kristin Tetzlaff relates the importance of the program to the zoo’s mission, “Zoomobile programs are essential in carrying out the mission of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. By doing [education] outreach we are able to directly connect students to animals and engage them in a unique fashion.” Tetzlaff states that this engagement encourages people to care about wild animals and the wild places they call home.
For all the students who’ve enjoyed the ride with us during the 2014-2015 school year, here’s a walk…er, we mean “drive,” down memory lane…
Click on the photos to enlarge:
The Zoomobile recently visited a seventh-grade class. Student Kayla F. sent this message via Padlet: “Dear Emma, Thank you for coming to our school and bringing the zoo mobile! I loved being able to see the animals up close and when you let us touch them! My favorite animal was the armadillo!”
The zoo is grateful to the Dekko Foundation and the Lincoln Financial Foundation. Because of these organizations, many of our Zoomobile programs are free to regional schools. Tetzlaff shares that, “Our Zoomobile programs are able to reach members of the community who may not be able to make it to the zoo.” And the zoo’s education department takes this commitment seriously – the Zoomobile program reaches over 40,000 school children a year!
Do you want to bring the Zoomobile to your school? You can learn more on our website. To schedule a program or ask questions, contact the Zoo Education Department at 260-427-6808 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.