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Convent 2nd Graders Publish Book to Raise Money for Injured Marine Mammals

Convent 2nd Graders Publish Book to Raise Money for Injured Marine Mammals

Convent second graders wanted to help raise money for sick and injured marine mammals, so they published a book and donated the proceeds to the world's leading marine mammal hospital.

As part of a science unit focused on local marine life, Convent second graders created a watercolor book that features facts about marine life and sold it to raise funds for sick and injured animals found along the Northern California coast.

Second grade teacher Diane Holland started the project with support from the entire second grade team (lead teacher Betsy Tamayo and associates Danielle Rymer and Jaquelyne Samuelson). “I thought that this would be a fantastic way for the girls to get the message out to our school community and double as a fundraiser for our local help center — The Marine Mammal Center,” Diane says. “One of our Sacred Heart goals, ‘a social awareness that impels to action,’ is a large part of their education.”

Working in pairs, the girls created paintings of marine life and compiled them into a self-published book. Students then set up a table at Convent & Stuart Hall’s fall Book Fair and took turns selling the book to anyone interested in their mission. In one week, they sold 181 copies.

Throughout the unit, students studied the anatomy, breeding habits and migration routes of whales, seals and sea lions, which frequent the San Francisco Bay and nearby coastal waters. According to Diane, they also learned about the environmental dangers that impact such animals. Along with researching a whale species and constructing a large-scale model of it, the book served as another medium through which students could practice becoming stewards of the oceans. 

The final step was to present a check for $1000 and a signed copy of the book to the Marine Mammal Center, which second graders did during a February 27 field trip to visit the world’s largest marine mammal hospital in Sausalito. “They [the center’s staff] were so grateful and impressed with the maturity of our students,” Diane says. 

As it turns out, the gift was timely: The center says it’s typical for injuries to spike in March as marine mammals migrate north. With increased philanthropic support, the center is able to meet the needs of more animals.

Photo credit: Diane Holland