Bringing the Ocean to the Classroom

Kids are known to be a tough crowd but when they love you they let you know it! Kids from Cleve House School in Bristol, UK are no different. What an amazing surprise it was when they let me know how much they enjoyed my school visit through their inspiring messages and beautiful thank you cards!

Bringing the Ocean to the Classroom

Fresh from my positive experience at the London Dive Show 2014 where I supported the Youth Zone by giving a presentation to kids about marine debris, I couldn't say no to my daughter's school invitation to give a presentation about the ocean, endangered shark species and marine debris.

My daughter was too excited by the idea that I couldn't disappoint her and to be honest she didn't give me much choice since she had already told her teacher how excited I was about talking about the work that I do at Project AWARE!

So the presentation was booked for Friday 28th March. There was no way out! I called my friends at www.sharks4kids.com and www.seaurchinsmag.com to the rescue to get my kids presentation ready. Also called a few divers and photographers to request permission to use their great photos to show the beauty of the ocean but also what marine pollution is doing to its inhabitants.

I felt quite nervous on the day but it went really well and I was amazed by how much the children already knew about sharks. They didn't know as much about marine debris and the vast amount estimated to enter the ocean each year.

Today my daughter proudly gave me an envelope with a thank you letter from Cleve House School and a card from each of the pupils who participated. The very moving messages and beautiful drawings brought tears to my eyes.

Just a few of the many amazing and inspiring thank you messages I've received:

 "Thank you for visiting us and teaching us about how to protect our blue world. I've learned some amazing facts" Jon.

"Thank you for telling us about Project AWARE. It was a very interesting speech. My favourite part was when you showed us the images of Domino the Whale Shark. I liked the colourful photographs a lot more than the dark and gloomy ones. You have inspired me to stop pollution." William.

"Two of the most fascinating things I discovered was that cows kill more people than sharks. The second fascinating fact is that more than 6 million tons of marine debris is estimated to enter the ocean each year" Sam.

"I was shocked when I heard how much litter goes into the ocean and when you showed us that picture at the Museum of Zurich, there was a lot of rubbish. I am disgusted about what people are doing to sharks. Shark fin soup sounds disgusting" Edward

"Thank you for teaching us about sharks and what danger they are in. My favourite shark is the sawshark" Ross.

"Thank you for coming in and talking to us about sharks. I looked online and saw Lydia on her journey to England" Jacob.

"When I see litter now I will pick it up and put it in the bin. Hopefully this blue planet will become less polluted" Grace.

"I learned lots of interesting facts from the magazine and from what you told us. I'm making sure most of our waste is recycled. I was looking through the magazine and saw all the other logos and went on their websites. I'm thinking of taking a diving course in the summer" Tilly.

I can't list them all but they were all AWESOME! A big THANK YOU to all the children from Year 5 and 6 at Cleve House School for their participation and enthusiasm. Keep up the great work guys! I will keep all these beautiful messages in my office to remind me why the work that we do at Project AWARE is so important for us today and future generations of divers!