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Summer Fun ZooMobile Kicks Off Library Tour in June

May 17,2012

Zoo Atlanta’s ZooMobile will make summer stops at each branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System branches in a partnership designed to support the educational needs of children and the community during the libraries’ 2012 Summer Reading Program.

Zoo Atlanta and the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System have joined forces with Science in Circulation!, a two-year project made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. Zoos and libraries are community institutions that share common goals to increase literacy and to provide informal learning resources that both stand alone and augment formal education in the classroom. This year’s Summer Reading theme is "Dream Big Read!" and what better way to do that than learning about amazing animals and their habitats?

Starting in June, each circulating branch of the Library System will receive two visits from Zoo Atlanta’s ZooMobile outreach program. The 45-minute programs include a trained educator who gives an exciting presentation using small live animals, hands-on teaching tools and entertaining educational activities. This will provide a life-enriching opportunity for the family that is not only educational but also available to them free of charge.

“We are thrilled that Zoo Atlanta is coming to our libraries this summer. It’s a natural extension of our already successful Zoo Pass collaboration, and we look forward to making this summer very special for our young patrons and their families with ZooMobile visits,” said John F. Szabo, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Director.

The ZooMobile regularly travels to schools, hospitals, senior centers, daycare centers, open house events and festivals within a 65-mile radius of Zoo Atlanta. The program features encounters with mammal, reptile and amphibian ambassadors from around the world, creating connections to wildlife that illustrate science and conservation concepts in a fun, engaging way.

“The ZooMobile is one of our most important programs for its ability to transcend the borders of Zoo Atlanta and take our mission on the road, with personal encounters with animals many children might not get to see otherwise,” said Raymond King, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta. “We’re proud to collaborate with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System on an initiative that encourages education, conservation and exploration of the natural world.”

Grownups and children will discover the amazing animals in Georgia and their habitats in their own backyards and beyond with the “Naturally Georgia” program. Or the “Wild Features” program serves Pre-K children, and compares the body parts of animals and humans to show how we use our senses just like animals. To support the curriculum needs for 7th grade students, some branches will offer “Creature Connections,” where students will discuss the delicate balance of species in the food web by examining animal skulls and learning about predator and prey relationships.

Zoo Atlanta has an existing partnership with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System allowing families up to four to visit Zoo Atlanta one time per year, just by checking out the Zoo Pass free with their library card. Last year over 6,000 Fulton County residents visited the Zoo free of charge. For a schedule of ZooMobile visits, please visit www.afpls.org.