Sail into OCEAN Fun with

On Wednesday, June 23 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM a family ocean education event and fundraiser will be held at the Charleston Maritime Center.
May 12, 2010 - PRLog -- Charleston, SC (May 11, 2010) - On Wednesday, June 23 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM a family ocean education event and fundraiser will be held at the Charleston Maritime Center to celebrate how we are all connected to the ocean. Local author and science educator, Merrie Koester Southgate, will head up this exciting FREE evening with both storytelling and improvisational theater from her new ocean adventure novel, Agnes Pflumm and the Secret of the Seven.  A professional drum circle, Inner Rhythm, will provide captivating background accompaniment. Fun for every member of the family, there will be FREE Papa John's Pizza for the first 100 people, ice cream, a raffle for a free evening sail about the Spirit of South Carolina as well as a FREE classroom set of Agnes Pflumm and the Secret of the Seven for a lucky middle school teacher.  Families will be invited to visit with real marine scientists and take home free materials. Proceeds from sales of Merrie Southgate's new ocean education novel will be donated to the 21st Century Spirit Ocean Adventure drop out prevention and literacy program offered by the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. Merrie Southgate's previous science education novels will also be available: Agnes Pflumm and the Stonecreek Science Fair, No Place Like Periwinkle, and Pond Scum by Agnes Pflumm.

Who:  Merrie Koester Southgate, science educator and author of four nationally acclaimed science education novels for grades 5-8 (

What:  A family evening of ocean education, storytelling, theater, book signing, tours of the Spirit of South Carolina, food, and drumming

Where:  Charleston Maritime Center, 10 Wharfside Street, Charleston, SC

When:  Wednesday, June 23 5:00-7:00 PM

Why:  To inspire families to learn as much about the ocean's influence on them and their influence on the ocean

The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the South Carolina Maritime Foundation, the South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston Maritime Center, and Papa John's Pizza. Families are encouraged to attend.

As a fall follow-up,Merrie Southgate will conduct a special middle school teacher ocean literacy workshop at the South Carolina Aquarium, featuring her new arts-based ocean science curriculum.

The event is a wonderful opportunity to combine all aspects of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation's mission. We endeavor to act as a catalyst in the community to address our collective needs. Whether we're working to protect the biodiversity of our shared marine resources, teaching children how to read, cultivating leaders for tomorrow, or providing low-wealth households with the opportunity for their students to overcome the statistical barriers to success, events like this help create thriving communities for the future. We're proud to work with NOAA, the South Carolina Aquarium, Papa John's Pizza, and Merrie Southgate towards that goal.

- Matt McDonnell, Program Director, South Carolina Maritime Foundation

Step on board for an adventure that speaks of our "sense of place" that we call ocean. From art and culture to flora and fauna, Merrie Southgate ties it all together in this adventure!  An amazing tool for educators to bring ocean knowledge and awareness to future generations.

-  Brian Thill, Assistant Director of Education, South Carolina Aquarium

Agnes Pflumm and the Secret of the Seven is an ocean adventure novel unlike any you have ever read.  Ancient pictographs and the urgent warnings of an extinct civilization leap from its pages.  A terrible, unspeakably EVIL IT is on the verge of taking the ocean into inescapable ruin.  Even IF Agnes Pflumm discovers the Secret of the Seven, it will not be enough unless.....

This powerful new novel will educate and inspire one to learn as much about the ocean planet as possible.  After sailing with many school groups aboard the Spirit of South Carolina and volunteering in  the South Carolina Maritime Foundation outreach programs, the author became convinced that the Spirit  of  South Carolina (called The Quest in her novel), should become a symbol for the quest for ocean literacy  and stewardship.   Merrie is particularly thrilled that the official "launch" of her novel will take place at the Charleston Maritime Center, where guests will have the opportunity to step aboard the Spirit itself, hear the pages of Agnes Pflumm and the Secret of the Seven come to life, meet the author, and purchase a signed copy to begin your own quest!

About the Agnes Pflumm series and author/illustrator/educator Merrie Southgate:

The Agnes Pflumm science education novels are the product of two decades of academic research, writing, and curriculum development for students in grades 4-8. Testimonies as to their efficacy abound, as teachers discover that with Southgate's novels, they can incorporate more reading, reflective writing, critical thinking, and drawing into their science curricula. Moreover, teachers can download the author's standards-based lesson plans, and informative science content from Southgate's powerful website,  

After 25 years in the classroom, Merrie Southgate is now working as a science education specialist and consultant, helping teachers develop strategies for integrating science and language arts in curricula, which correlate with the National Standards. Says Mrs. Southgate, "I am committed to working with each state, district, school, or individual teacher in their efforts to improve achievement in science and reading."

At a time when the National Science Teachers Association is calling for science education that improves literacy, Merrie Southgate's books are must-have teaching and learning tools!

South Carolina Maritime Foundation

The South Carolina Maritime Foundation owns and operates the Spirit of South Carolina tall ship. The Foundation's mission is to create opportunities for life-changing experiences resulting in leaders for tomorrow's communities.  Since its first season of programming in 2007, nearly 6,000 students have been served. With the support of local partnerships, the South Carolina Maritime Foundation is able to generate funds to keep these exceptional programs in place. Visit for more information.

Sara Pappas, Marketing and Donor Relations Manager
Phone: 843-722-1030 x 17

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The SCMF owns and operates the 'Spirit of South Carolina' tall ship. The Foundation offers effective, unique educational opportunities for students, focusing on the history, math, science and literature of our water resources.
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