As issues of climate change, ocean pollution, and overfishing become more prominent in our day-today lives, more young people are taking action to protect our oceans. Laura McKillop and her second-grade students at White Rock Elementary School in White Rock, BC had been learning about marine invertebrates, intertidal life, ocean currents in their classroom. As a result of this, the class has become very interested in the importance of ocean health and learning about the impacts of plastic pollution. Laura and her class wanted to take action for the ocean and make a difference when it comes to plastic pollution so they invited Kirstyn Yee and her fourth grade class to work on a project together. This is how they came across Ocean Wise.
“The class wanted to find an organization who they believed was doing really meaningful research, education and restoration work,” Laura tells us. “We wanted to find a way to support you the best we could.”
“The thing I loved about this fundraiser is that it was a way to interact with people and to do something to change the world.”- Anna, fourth grade student
The class worked together to come up with a plankton design, inspired by their school’s seaquarium, that they printed on reusable canvas tote bags. They sold the bags to their school and the wider community in an effort to raise awareness about plastic pollution and to raise funds.
“Our fundraiser was a way to share our learning about how the health of even the most microscopic life forms in the ocean can have a very macroscopic impact on the world. We weren’t interested in just having the kids share the message that “plastic is bad.” This fundraiser was about students learning about why things like plastic can be harmful, and about giving them an opportunity to educate others. Having students see that they can make a difference through education, art, and action was important to us.”
“I care about the oceans because there are so many cool creatures to learn about and I don’t want those creatures to die before we can explore them”—Saoirse, second grade student
The class raised $2,500, and in the process, the students learned firsthand how educating themselves and sharing their learning with others can make a difference in the world. We can’t wait to see more great work from the students of White Rock Elementary!
Interested in supporting our oceans like White Rock Elementary? Contact us at [email protected] to find out how.