April 24, 2020
The Philadelphia Zoo has expanded its online video program with a series of fun activities and learning modules to keep kids engaged while they're out of school during the COVID-19 crisis.
Last month, the zoo debuted a video series, "Philly Zoo at 2," featuring various animals and trainers appearing in Facebook Watch sessions that are later uploaded to the zoo's website. The series already has visited Humboldt penguins, colobus monkeys and three-banded armadillos, among other species.
To supplement the videos, the zoo is now offering a mix of science-related resources including worksheets, coloring sheets and DIY activities that blend fun with academic lessons about wildlife, habitats and the environment.
The latest learning program is called "Philly Zoo to You."
“The mission of the zoo is to connect people with wildlife,” said Kristen Waldron, Philadelphia Zoo’s director of strategic initiatives. “When we learned that the zoo would be temporarily closed to the public we felt it was important to create a new way for our audiences to continue to stay connected with our amazing animals and staff. What sets Philly Zoo to You apart is the combination of the personal exchange with our incredibly passionate staff and volunteers with the joyful discovery we can provide for children and their families."
Curious youngsters can also contact any of the zoo with their questions about wildlife and get answers from one of the zoo's more than 50 animal experts.
"We have a team of experts, most of which are long-time docents of the zoo who typically this time of year, spend thousands of hours onsite educating and inspiring our audiences," Waldron said. "They are former biology, chemistry, social studies and science teachers, principals of schools and above all avid zoo experts. They are well-informed and thrilled to provide this truly personalized service for students and parents alike.”