Mar 5 2010

Why Beach Trash IS a WHALE of a problem….

Mar 5 2010

‘Lil Gray on The Ocean Project website!

The Ocean Project is a great organization that has like-minded goals as our whale project…and they put Lil’ Gray on their website…as Mrs. Gnade says, “OH MY GOODNESS!” We’ve gone international!

Check it out!

Mar 5 2010

Teresa, Students and Lil’ Gray on San Diego’s FOX 5 News!

Thanks to FOX 5 News for supporting our project…the more people that our students can reach…the BETTER!

Feb 22 2010

What a Whale…What a NIGHT!

On February 18th, The “Beach Trash: A Whale of a Problem” project was celebrated at Jefferson School with a standing-room only crowd…including many special visitors!

While the crowd was gathering, an unbelievable variety of whale artwork created by the 1st graders was on display.  And, Carlsbad’s Danish Bakery also donated hundreds of cookies to snack on while viewing the art!



The evening, emceed by Arlene Gnade, founder of the project,  included recognition of those who took part in the project, a wonderful slide-show presentation by Mrs. Kopp, special guest speaker Jon Severino from the Surfrider Foundation’s “Rise Above Plastics” campaign, a visit from the Chico “Bag Monster”, a heartwarming medley of songs sung by the amazing 1st graders and finally, the unveiling of Lil’ Gray….the whale calf made of beach trash. Phew!!

Arlene Gnade, founder of the project, and artist Teresa Espaniola, both received beautiful Hawaiian leis and a roar of applause for their inspiring work. Thank you Mrs. Gnade and Teresa for all you do for our oceans!

Lil’ Gray’s next stop is SEA LIFE Aquarium at Legoland! Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 6th and look for more information soon!

Take a scroll through the photos below and enjoy!


Jefferson’s 1st grade teaching team: Mrs. Schwend, Mrs. Kopp, Mrs. Amezcua, Mrs. Gnade, Mrs. Villalobos and Mrs. Horrell…OUR SCHOOL IS SO LUCKY TO HAVE YOU ALL!!!


Jon Severino from “Rise Above Plastics’ reminded us all that single use plastics (especially Styrofoam and plastic bags) many times end up as marine debris…


The Chico Bag Monster made a visit!  The Bag Monster is made of the 500 plastic bags that only ONE SHOPPER per year cosumes when not using reusable bags!!  Good thing “Rise Above Plastics” gave away a wonderful, reusable shopping bag to each family attending!!


Artist Teresa Espaniola saying a few words…


students singing and celebrating…


getting ready…


Lil’ Gray, as the students named him…unveiled!!!




imagine…all of this trash found on our beaches!


Showing off the Lil’ Gray…


The Chico Bag Monster with CUSD’s Dr. Roach and Jefferson Principal, Dr. Hartman…thank you to our district leaders for attending our special night!


Chico Bag Monster was a great hit!!  And hopefully everyone will STOP using those yucky plastic bags!


“Song for the Ocean” and the Pledge the students wrote for all to sign….


girls taking time to sign the pledge…


The inspiring Mrs. Arlene Gnade and artist, Teresa Espaniola…THANK YOU for allowing our students to take this incredible journey!!

Feb 20 2010

Lil’ Gray is Welcomed by Standing Room Only Crowd at Jefferson!

The whale is unveiled!! Lil’ Gray, as the 1st graders of Jefferson have named him, is unveiled and on display at Jefferson Elementary School.  On March 6th, he will swim over to SEA LIFE Aquarium at Legoland in Carlsbad, CA.

Stay tuned for a full wrap up of the big night as well as a host of amazing photos!
CONGRATULATIONS 1st grade students, teachers and artist, Teresa Espaniola on a job well done!Lil' Gray

Feb 18 2010

Whale Unveiling is Upon Us!!



Feb 4 2010

Thank You Surfrider’s “Rise Above Plastics” !!!!

Take a look at this blog!

Our friends at the Surfrider Foundation have a fantastic campaign called “Rise Above Plastics”!  This group of volunteers is spreading awareness about the destruction to our environment that single use plastics cause and also actively campaign to get people to STOP using single use plastics through projects like “A Day without a Bag”.

They will be speaking at the Whale unveiling on 2/18 and also providing our Jefferson students with a very useful surprise!

Feb 3 2010

The Whale…Unveiled!

The big night is almost here…the hard work, lessons learned and our environmental expression that has come together over the last several months will all be celebrated!!  There will be a moving performance by the 1st grade classes as well as a display of their ‘wishes’ for the ocean and of course…the unveiling of the Gray Whale Calf!!!

Check out the invitation below….Thursday, February 18th beginning at 6pm…we hope to see you there!


Jan 30 2010

It takes a village…

Not only are the teachers and students working hard, but a great number of parent volunteers have become active in the Whale project. From gathering trash with their families to helping out Teresa with the details of gluing, volunteers are proving that it does indeed take a village to raise a child..or make a whale!  THANK YOU Volunteers!!


Just a few of the volunteers who have come to help with “Beach Trash, A Whale of a Problem”…hot glue guns and 1st graders are not such a great combo, so after the students have placed each of their pieces of trash, the volunteers take over on the ‘hot’ spots…

Jan 30 2010

Continuing to grow!

More students came to work with Teresa to bring the whale calf to life. The students chose pieces from the piles of beach trash they have all collected and worked with Teresa to lay it out.

Each time the students come together, it becomes a conversation on saving the oceans. The students discuss many aspects of the project…including their sheer amazement of how MUCH trash there is!

The students are not the only ones in awe…many parent volunteers have admitted they didn’t realize the problem was so big. The Whale project is already spreading the message!!!


Students choosing their pieces for the whale…


Mrs. Gnade getting in on the fun with the students!


Teresa and students placing their pieces…


ongoing experiment in Mrs. Gnade’s class…


how much has it changed?  not much…at all!??  Since October!


Teresa discusses the experiment with students…and how it takes a while for things to ‘change’ or break down in our oceans.  AND…how marine life mistakes plastics and trash for food…which of course…doesn’t break down in their stomachs…


A very small sampling of the plastic caps and lids among only a couple piles of beach trash…REUSABLE water bottle anyone!??


Mrs. Kopp’s class listening and preparing to create their section of the whale…


What a message this is going to send…