Students at Mark Twain Elementary School in Kirkland prepared their “scuba” gear to dive in and learn about the ocean with Annie Crawley on April 22.
Crawley, who goes by “Ocean Annie” is an award-winning producer, underwater photographer and speaker. She travels the country sharing stories from diving with sharks, mantas and humpback whales. She shares pictures and videos to introduce her audience to real topics that are impacting the world’s oceans including ocean pollution, sustainability and climate change.
On Earth Day, Crawley explained to the students at Twain how the ocean is responsible for more than 50 percent of the oxygen in every breath taken and it contains 97 percent of the planet’s water. Crawley also talked to the students about what Washington state is doing to help the planet, including plastic bag and straw bans.
“The ocean needs us more than ever,” Crawley told the students. ”We need your imagination, creativity and creation. We need your voice. The ocean needs you today.”
She believes children’s imaginations are not just child’s play — but rather visionary imagination.
“Youth are our future. They are our most reliable resource and we need their minds,” she said. “With the real issues facing our planet, they have [the] creative solutions…we need [their] imagination, creativity, and creation. [Their] voice matters.”
Twain is one of more than 200 schools in 12 school districts that has received assistance from the King County Green Schools Program. The program provides schools with tools and support needed to initiate and expand waste reduction and recycling practices and other conservation action; involve the whole school community in environmental stewardship and operate environmentally efficient and responsible facilities.
So far, the Green Team at Twain — made up of fifth graders — has worked with Waste Management to host a Trash on a Tarp event. The event was held to inform students on proper recycling. The Green Team of more than 40 students made 3-D signs for each bin as an easy way to show younger students the right way to recycle at their school. The team meets once a month to learn, talk and make sustainability goals.
“We’re just hoping to inspire kids to learn about the world and take care of it,” Regina Ball, PTSA assistant, said.
During Green Week (April 22-27), students participated in Energy Saving Day by walking, carpooling or taking the bus to school; making eco crafts at lunch recesses; and a family school grounds clean up day. Ocean Annie’s presentation was also a part of Green Week. Her workshop informed students, as well as their parents at a separate seminar later that evening. The seminar, Our Ocean and You was sponsored by Twain PTSA in partnership with Lake Washington School District (LWSD) and LWPTSA Council.
To learn about Crawley, visit www.anniecrawley.com.
To see other PTSA events visit www.twainptsa.org/home.