Last month a crew from Thurston High School in the South Redford School District in Michigan arrived on San Juan Island for an educational experience of a lifetime.
Media Studies Educator Kara Clayton shares her passion for Orcas and their struggle for survival with her students. For the past three years she has brought a contingent of budding broadcasters to Harrison House Suites and Tucker House Inn to learn about the whales and their connection with our precious ecosystem. Her ultimate goal is to have the students produce media messages which they can spread around the world to create an awareness of the Orcas and how human actions affect them.
“We might not all live near the Salish Sea but we are all connected by our habits,” Kara remarks. “For example, if I dump something into the Rouge River which runs through the Detroit area, it may eventually impact a living creature in a body of water far away from Michigan.” The students will produce a minimum of eight public service announcements and news/informational videos.
Of course, just getting 13 students and four chaperones all the way from Detroit to San Juan Island was no inexpensive feat. This dedicated bunch of students sold cookies, held bowl-a-thon fundraisers, sponsored bottle and can drives, and video taped and edited events, all to raise the $25,000 price tag for the trip.
Though their trip is now captured on video and and they are back at home, their work on this project was not ended. There was still an editing retreat planned to pull the elements together. The results hopefully will be distributed on the internet, to San Juan Island’s Whale Museum, to Orcanetwork, and to anyone else who might be interested. For more information about the project, check out their website, http://southredford.net. During the school year they post their daily show on Facebook. You can also contact Kara at firstname.lastname@example.org, and can see more of their photos on Photobucket
Kara notes, “This was not a commercial effort. It was an effort driven by love and stewardship for our planet.” Brilliant!