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National Aquarium Hosts 'Shell-Abration' To Celebrate Students, Parents, & Teachers

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A beloved event at the National Aquarium returned this year but instead of the annual "Grade A Event" organizers transformed it into an all-out school Shelle-Abration.

'It feels amazing to be here because I haven't been here in such a long, long time," said Erin Goodwin, 7th grader at Francis Scott Key.

For Goodwin, it's been more than a year since her last visit to the aquarium and since she was forced to leave school and turn her home into a classroom.

"It's very sad because I also miss my school and teachers," said Goodwin. That's why instead of the aquarium's traditional "Grade A event," they hosted a "School Shelle-Bration" on Thursday.

"I accomplished getting good grades in class and doing work and a whole lot of stuff," said Goodwin.

"We wanted to recognize everybody who persevered and found amazing success this year," said Jenny Hamilton, Director of Community Partnership Strategy. "And we also wanted to be not just about the students, but teachers, parents, and caregivers."

Organizers said it's much more than just a free visit to the aquarium. "We reopened the aquarium after a hard few months in July and were so excited to be able to provide this experience to families again. To provide them a safe moment where they can come with their families and they kind of forget the other worries of the world," said Hamilton.

The journey to get here hasn't been easy but with familiar rhythms of life returning, it's hard not to see brighter days ahead.

"I'm so excited to see in the aquarium is actually the sharks- which I love. I actually love sharks because they're my second favorite animal," said Goodwin.

The National Aquarium said it will offer several other community programs throughout the year.

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