There's just an incredible example of what schools can do to educate kids about the environment using their local resources as a canvas for learning that happened just recently for the 14th year in a row at Farralone View Elementary School in California. Their annual ocean's week, coordinated by parents, aims to bring the Pacific Ocean into class and make it come alive for kids. This year's theme revolved around recycling, conservation, and protecting the ocean. There's all kinds of great ways they got kids involved too; like the fact that for the 4th time artist and mom Rebecca Ellis drew the outline of a giant mural on a wall at school where kids could then complete it themselves. There were art and science projects, water safety lessons, ocean recreation discussions, storytelling, and a visit by an eco-juggling team called "Rock Steady". There was an assembly given by Steve Shimek of The Otter Project, where 4th grader Samantha Hernandez pointed out that "You learn to save them, and not use oil a lot." And to keep with that theme they had a Hobie catamaran, dugout canoes and kayaks on campus so kids could learn about wind power and how it can make a difference in the reduction in the use of oil as well by seeing them up close. Third grader Alice Murray summed up the lesson climbing on them gave when she pointed out that "This teaches us we shouldn't use too much oil ," which is a lesson we all can learn from.
Now I'm not going to kid any of you out there in TreeHuggerville, because all of this takes a tremendous amount of time, preparation, cooperation, and effort to put together that most people have absolutely no understanding of whatsoever unless they've actually done it themselves. So kudos to the parents, teachers, and staff who made this week happen. Hopefully you've inspired someone else to do the same!