Crowley, Jasper (William Jasper), 1900-1976 donated Crowley lands to the community in 1972. He was a teacher at the Old Miakka one-room Schoolhouse from 1933-1943. When Fruitville Elementary School opened up he became the first principal and the Old Miakka Schoolhouse was closed. Jasper believed he witnessed the birth of delinquency in children first hand. In these days, children worked on the farm–nearly all people lived on enough land to keep a garden and some chickens and chores needed to be completed before fishing could take place. Jasper felt, as many pioneer families did, that if children worked in the garden it connected them to natural systems and taught them to be self-sufficient, which also gained them self-confidence. Oral histories from some of these young men are testament to the notion that bringing them to the farm and teaching them about wild plants and how to build shelters, purify water, and other survival skills helped them to know they could provide for themselves if necessary. This gave them self-confidence and many young men became productive citizens even when the odds were against them.
Following the early mission of Crowley, we bring children to Crowley to understand natural systems and where their food comes from. We teach them about completely self-reliant early cultures and impart them with a desire to become more self-sufficient and more mindful of preserving natural resources.
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Crowley Museum & and Nature Center Natural History 3rd Grade Science Program In the 3rd grade science program, the focus is on the following subjects: AGRICULTURE SOIL SCIENCE students will explore the Crowley kitchen garden and discover pollinators, microorganisms, garden pests, parts of plants, sun’s energy, plant nutrition. WATER AND WETLANDS SCIENCE students will learn about the natural history of Florida including the Floridan aquifer, natural disasters, man made disasters and the effect on landscapes and...read more
“What does the rooster say?” Designed especially for kindergarten and first grade, this fun and exciting fast-paced program brings to life the 1948 Classic written by Alf Evers. In the story, Bobby invites Mary out to the farm and demonstrates the roles and sounds of farm animals and shows her how food is produced on the farm. In A Day on the Farm program, children will follow along with the pages of Evers’ book where along with Mary they will see, hear, and taste life on the farm. They will learn where milk, eggs, meat, honey,...read more
Watch this video of talented puppeteer and teacher, Connie Manson, created by Sarasota Observer. Hermit Crab Finds a House Puppet Story of the Archetypal Hermit Crab Scientific Exploration of The Purple Pincher Hermit Crab Folk Art Activity For Classes: Preschool, K-2 Hermit Crab Finds a House (Kindergarten) begins with songs and finger games imaginatively sharing aspects of the seaside environment where hermit crabs are born! In this magical puppet storytelling the students experience and artistic recreation of sounds found along...read more
Invader Terminator Who is Invader Terminator? Florida is being invaded–by foreign fish, giant reptiles, bromeliad-chomping weevils, cannibal frogs, and forests of exotic trees that smother every other living thing out of existence. Invader Terminators are those brave souls who want to fight back and help Florida’s native plants and animals reclaim their place in the world. Crowley has a new program to show kids how to identify and remove invasive plants from their yards, from their local parks and from Florida’s natural areas. In the...read more
The Children’s Discovery Path is a 3/8 mile long nature hiking path with five discovery stations where a child can stop and learn about animals, birds, and insects that are native to southwest Florida. Along this path, there are five interactive stations: Birds of Prey, Bats, the Gopher Tortoise, Spiders, and the Florida Panther. Each station has a fun, hands-on activity where path explorers can jump, climb, see, and feel what it is like to be one of these creatures. On the guided tour, a staff member will talk about the native flora and...read more
A Day in the Life of a Florida Pioneer Program On Site Field Trip Students studying life of early Florida pioneers will delight in this experiential learning program. Hands-on activities allow students to imagine what it would be like to live in Florida at the turn-of-the-century. A Day in the Life of a Florida Pioneer 90 minute on site tour Students will be met by period costumed, living history facilitators who will divide the students into groups for their pioneer experience. They will experience daily pioneer life on the farm, in the...read more