BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — We received an email from a student at Boca Prep International School asking us to let all of our readers know about “Shark Advocacy Week” coming up net week at the school. In the words of student Sarah Brenes, “I love sharks and they need help right now. Our oceans are in danger.” Not to sound too much like Casey Kasem, but… Sarah, thanks for writing! Here’s the article you submitted to us about Shark Advocacy Week. We hope it helps. (What’s happening at your school? Email us and let us know!)
Boca Raton Preparatory students will adopt and tag a shark to track its movements with the help of scientists from the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. This is one of many activities scheduled for the school’s Shark Advocacy Week, April 2nd through April 5th and coincides with Project Aware’s Big Shout Out for Sharks Month in April.
Students are learning about sharks to increase understanding about the role of the ocean’s top predator and what is needed to maintain healthy marine ecosystems. They have also participated in the Shark Savers Ban the Fin program which was presented by 10th grader Sara Brenes who founded the charity Shark Whisperer.
The school will also be raising funds with a Shark Swim a Thon, where the kids will solicit donations from local businesses, friends and families. The funds will help to purchase a shark satellite tag from the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. The top ten children in the lower school that raise the most donations will be able to name the shark and track it in real time on the web. The top ten fundraisers in the middle school will be attending a hands on science program at the IGFA in Dania. The top ten fundraisers in the upper school will be able to go out with the RJ Dunlap team and help them tag sharks and take blood and tissue samples.
According to information provided by Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, tens of millions of sharks are killed each year. Many are killed unintentionally when they are caught by fishermen. Others are killed intentionally by those who sell their fins for use in soup and other products.
Sharks are a long-lived species. They have been around for more than 400 million years, and for that reason scientists have been able to gain insight and understanding of natural selection, evolution and adaptation.
Boca Prep Headmaster, Stan Daniel says “We are excited to have shark week at Boca Prep because it fits well into our IB program. Through the lens of our “Areas of Interaction,” we will be focusing on Environments as the students learn the important role of sharks in the ocean.”
Activities scheduled during Shark Week include an interactive lesson by members of the RJ Dunlap Shark Team when the team visits the campus.
Several books about sharks will be donated to the school library. Parent volunteers will be sharing shark information from these books to the students in the classrooms. Art sheets with shark facts will be distributed to the lower school, along with a choice of relevant curricula.
Shark documentaries will also be shown. Those include Sharkwater, The Man Who Loves Sharks with legendary Stan Waterman, as well as Blue Water White Death and others.
Funds will be raised throughout the school and community to pay for tagging sharks so their movements and behaviors can be studied. The school will sponsor bake sales with shark shaped cookies, brownies and cupcakes during the week.
The students will be able to make a donation towards earning an optional dress down day where they can wear a shark themed shirt. Shark shirts will be on sale at the student store starting on March 19th.
There will also be donation collection containers in the classrooms. There will be a Shark newsletter distributed throughout the Mission Bay areas with advertising space offered to the local businesses.
Boca Prep hopes to lead the South Florida school community with this program and that other schools will embrace this initiative.