American Library Association Selects Magic Porthole A “Great Web Site for Kids”


Magic Porthole at has been selected for inclusion in the American Library Association’s (ALA)  Great Web Sites for Kids.

 The ALA, established in 1853, is dedicated to providing “leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”  The Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) Children and Technology Committee established the Great Web Sites for Kids in 1997.  The ALSC is, according to its web page, “the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children.”


            The ALA’s letter of congratulations to Magic Porthole said “Great Web Sites for Kids are those considered the best web sites for ages birth to 14, outstanding in both content and conception.  As applied to web sites for young people, “great” should be thought to include sites of especially commendable quality; sites that reflect and encourage young people’s interests in exemplary ways.” 


            Magic Porthole, a program of Horizon International, provides engaging experiences for discoveries about the lives of frogfish, cleaning gobies, turtles, seahorses, sharks, and many of the myriad other coral reef creatures while encouraging reef preservation with online and offline videos, games, and resources. 



Seahorses Photo Birch Aquarium at Scripps



On the Magic Porthole web site visitors can play seahorse games contributed by the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, engage in contests and explore resources Reef Check and IYOR, learn about water using a flash page from UNEP, TUNZA, and CEE (Center for Environmental Education, India), and have fun with resources from NOAA/National Ocean Science and others.  A special feature on dolphins provided by The Wild Dolphin Project tells about the importance of coral reefs to dolphins.


            Among the videos featured on the site is “Magic Porthole: Discoveries in Coral Reefs, TV Series Preview of Footage Filmed in Bonaire”, an eight minute DVD produced by Horizon International. 


 See the bottom of this page to see the video.



Leafy Seadragon Photo Birch Aquarium at Scripps



Magic Porthole’s First Environment Achievement Contest to help coral reefs is now underway with a deadline of December 31st 2008.  The contest, held in honor of the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2008, invites individuals of all ages and organizations to participate. The announcement is on the site.  It is attracting young and not so young to tell about their own or their organization’s efforts to help save coral reefs. “Efforts can be what you are doing far from the oceans to help reduce Global Climate Change with energy efficiency and to stop pesticides and other pollutants from getting into the water.  Near the ocean shore your project might be to stop trash getting into the water.  Nearby coral reefs, your project might be to help reduce damage from inadequately controlled tourism and excessive or destructive types of fishing.  For additional ideas, the site invites visitors to see: Things You Can Do to Protect Coral Reefs brought to you by The International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2008.”

            Prize winners will be chosen for best efforts and the impact of their actions.  Aquariums, museums and coral reef organizations are offering prizes for this contest. The First prize is a trip to a coral reef on board Research Vessel Tiburon with Captain Tim Taylor.  Taylor is founder of Ocean Outreach Inc., a non-profit ocean education and outreach organization.  Other prizes include tuition at Sanibel Sea School, art work by Sasha Meret, family passes to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, books and t-shirts from the Wild Dolphin Project, underwater guides, t-shirts, kids books, and hats from Reef Check and decks of  Magic Porthole Coral Reef Playing Cards, one version of which can be seen and played with online at




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Janine M.H. Selendy, Chairman and President

Horizon International

Yale University

Cell: 914-329-1323

Residence: 914-276-3155          



            Horizon International’s Magic Porthole program, an informal science education program, is made possible by funding from many supporters for filming in Bonaire, individuals and foundations, and substantial contributions of talent and services and the help of many partners. A National Science Foundation Planning Grant provided financial assistance with its development.

Advisory Board for Magic Porthole:

Walter H. Adey, Ph.D., Director, Marine Systems Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution; Alexandra Cousteau, Co-Founder, EarthEcho, Gordon Cragg, Ph.D., former Chief, Natural Products Branch, National Cancer Institute; Sylvia A. Earle, Ph.D., founder of Deep Ocean Engineering; David Ellis, Ph.D., former Director, Boston Museum of Science; William Fenical, Ph.D., Director, Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; David Gelernter, Professor, Computer Science, Yale U.; Peter R. Haje, former General Counsel and Executive Vice President Time-Warner; Carl-Gustaf Lundin, Head, IUCN Global Marine Programme; Gus Speth, Dean, Yale Forestry and Environmental Studies. Numerous youth are advisors.

International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) International Year of the Reef 2008


The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) International Year of the Reef 2008 is a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about the value and importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability, and to motivate people to take action to protect them. IYOR welcomes and actively encourages individuals, corporations, schools, governments, and organizations to participate in IYOR 2008. Magic Porthole and the Horizon Solutions site  are Friends of IYOR 2008.

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