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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Sep. 28, 2015 3 years ago

ECHO Rangers stops by Ormond Beach

by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

Volusia County students learned about the Ecological, Cultural, Heritage and Outdoor offerings in Ormond Beach. 

Kathleen Glynn is lover of all things nature and art. In fact, in on her mantel sits two pieces from two very impressive artists: Claude Monet and 7-year-old Joshua Jones, her grandson.

“It’s sitting there, side-by-side,” she said. “That’s how much I love his work. Sometimes he paints things I don’t understand, and then he explains it to me until it makes sense. There’s always a story behind it.”

Jones wasn’t completely sure of the story behind the waterfall he was painting at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum Sept. 26 as a part of the ECHO Ranger program. With the mission to  educate youth about the many ecological, cultural, heritage and outdoors offerings in Volusia County, the ECHO Rangers programs are held at parks, museums, historical sites and libraries annually from September to May. Program Coordinator Kayce Looper said they really want families to get out to enjoy the ECHO locations together.

“I think it gives them a sense of pride of where they come from,” she said. “It's important for today for kids because history isn't as emphasized to degree that it once was.”

Currently, the program has over 40 kids registered and is still accepting families to join. The one-time fee includes entrance into all location, a t-shirt and the invitation to the graduation pizza party in May.

“ECHO really gives kids some unique experiences,” she said. “One of kids’ favorite places is the landfill. They get a guided van tour behind the scenes of the fill, which is not something you can normally do.”

Glynn and Jones personally loved the Ormond Memorial Art Museum’s opportunity to paint and explore the gardens.

“We get more culture twice a month, and we get to take the whole weekend to do it,” she said. “We do it on our own but this is so much more organized. It’s a great way to see nature.”

Interested in signing up?

The Volusia County's ECHO Ranger program educates youth, their families and scout troops about the many ecological, cultural, heritage and outdoors offerings. The program is for children in first through fifth-grade. The cost is $20 per child and includes entry fees to all sites for the ECHO Ranger candidate and one adult.

ECHO Rangers programs are at parks, museums, historical sites and libraries throughout Volusia County. Activities are scheduled on weekends from September through May. Each activity lasts one to three hours, and reservations should be made for each program at least one week in advance. Sign up registration forms online, or pick up a form at the Ormond Beach Public Library. Call DeBary Hall at 668-3840.

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