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Zoo to You Program Visits CYO Summer Program

Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
Fulton, NY – Snakes, and turtles and owls, oh my!  Participants in CYO Summer Recreation Program learned about those animals and more when Education Coordinator, Ashlea Vilello of Rosamond Gifford Zoo visited the CYO.

Education Coordinator, Ashlea Vilello (right) of Rosamond Gifford Zoo recently visited the CYO Summer Drop-In Recreation program. As part of the Zoo to You program Vilello delighted CYO youth with several animals including this Honduran Milk Snake. Pictured with Vilello from left are Ethan Lincoln, Caitlin Wisniewski, Hunter Frank, and Derek Fitzsimmons.
Education Coordinator, Ashlea Vilello (right) of Rosamond Gifford Zoo recently visited the CYO Summer Drop-In Recreation program. As part of the Zoo to You program Vilello delighted CYO youth with several animals including this Honduran Milk Snake. Pictured with Vilello from left are Ethan Lincoln, Caitlin Wisniewski, Hunter Frank, and Derek Fitzsimmons.

As part of the Zoo to You program, Vilello provided CYO participants with an informative presentation that gave them with a close-up look at some of the zoo’s many animals.  While the Eastern Box Turtle and the Eastern Screech Owl captured the children’s interest and piqued their curiosity, it was the Honduran Milk Snake that brought out the most interesting reactions, from wide-eyed excitement to cautions delight.

A traveling, inquiry-based educational program, Vilello said that the Zoo to You makes approximately 300 visits each year to schools, libraries, community centers, senior centers/facilities, day care centers, scout groups, etc.

“The Zoo to You program serves as a bridge between the Roseamond Gifford Zoo and the community,” said Vilello.  “It allows us to show community members some of the animals up close.  It helps to foster an interest in the environment and a sense of stewardship while we deliver the Zoo’s message in the community.  It’s a fun job.  I love working with animals and seeing peoples’ reactions.”

Vilello added that the zoo recently welcomed a new baby Markhor and a Giant Pacific Octopus is on its way.

Located at Burnett Park in Syracuse, the Roseamond Gifford Zoo is open 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., year round except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day when they are closed.

For more information on the Roseamond Gifford Zoo or the Zoo to You program, contact them at (315) 435-8511, or visit www.rosamondgiffordzoo.org

The CYO Summer Drop-in Recreation program is funded in part by the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the NYS Office of Children and Families and the City-County Youth Bureau of Oswego County. For more information on the program contact CYO Coordinator, Stacie Roberts at 315-598-3980 ext 254.

Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation. Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego, and private donations by individuals, local companies, and organizations.