Fort Worth Zoo attracts Home School Day crowd

Young children lingered around the outdoor learning theater as they awaited for the interactive show to begin. The performance showcased concepts of math and the food chain through the help of animals.

According to Communications Director Alexis Wilson, interactive learning, with the combination of entertainment and knowledge is a philosophy encouraged at the zoo.

“Homeschooling is a growing segment in the education community, and it is becoming more formalized,” Wilson said. “The zoo offers a great educational resource.”

Midday March 7, Fort Worth Zoo officials estimated about 1,700 people participated in its biannual Home School Day. Guests were able to pre-register for the event, which drew about 1,000 people. The first Home School Day at the zoo took place March 3, 2005.

“It’s a great way for them to get an educational aspect out of it where they can come and go to a program or talk with the zoo keepers,” Program Coordinator Ashlea Brooks said. “It’s also a great networking time for them to bond and meet with other home schooled families.”

The zoo offers cross-curricular classes for home-schooled children two Tuesdays a month through May. Classes are $25 each. Parents can register their children online at

“This is a unique population we are trying to reach out to and to get more involved with,” Education Director Kathy Dorris said. “Sometimes parents aren’t as familiar or feel as comfortable with the science element of teaching, so they reach out to professionals to try and find ways to teach science. Who doesn’t love the zoo?”