Pacific beach coalition gives support
Sea Crest School dove into Coast Week on Monday. This year for their annual week of marine and coastal learning, the Half Moon Bay school is partnering with the Pacific Beach Coalition to raise awareness about trash and plastic waste in the ocean.
All week students from junior kindergarten through eighth grade will read, make art, and learn about their local coast and this year’s “Pacific Beach Coalition Hero,” the albatross.
To celebrate the albatross, the school is hosting a hallway exhibit students can walk through based on the book “A Perfect Day for Albatross.” There will also be a Q&A on Friday with the author, Caren Loebel-Fried, who studies nesting albatross on Midway Atoll.
“The goal of Coast Week is for the students to have an appreciation and a sense of stewardship for our local coast and their backyard,” said Lauren Miller, Sea Crest Head of School. “We want students to recognize this awesome resource that we have in the Pacific Ocean.”
Students also have the opportunity to participate in the “street to beach cleanup” campaign that runs from now until the end of the school year. Every student is challenged to go out with their families to help pick up garbage from the beaches. This week some of that garbage is coming back to the school and being turned into art in the shape of a life-size albatross collage made of plastic found on the beaches.
“This week is a combination of an educational week, a service to our community, and the launch of an internal fundraising campaign for a new program that we have at the school,” Miller said.
Coast Week marks the start of the Marine and Coastal Science Program fundraiser. Beginning in the fall the school is introducing a Marine and Coastal Science Program in which each grade will study a specific marine and coastal content area through field studies and curriculum.
“The idea is that it’s a place-based phenomena study and service-oriented program that will help students connect to their local environment and recognize their role as environmental stewards,” said Kate Dickey, director of the Marine and Coastal Science Program. “They’re exploring larger ocean literacy concepts through their own local environment.”
Junior kindergarten and kindergarten students start with learning about the local watershed and water cycle while first- and second-graders begin learning about the sandy beaches and tidepools. Students explore the various marine and coastal environments all the way through eighth grade when they cover the ocean and atmospheric connections.
“We’re hoping that this program will develop students' literacy about the ocean and that they’ll have an understanding of the ocean’s influence on them and their influence on the ocean,” Dickey said. “With that, our hope is that they will be able to understand the essential principles and fundamental concepts about the ocean, that they’ll be able to communicate about the ocean in meaningful ways, and they’ll be able to make responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources.”