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!!

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