Animal Action Week Grand Prize Winner - Poem and Pics

Withturtle The 2008 Animal Action Week award winner Kathy Pina,a 4th Grade Teacher
at Jackson Avenue School in Hackensack, New Jersey just returned from her trip to Trinidad where she visited the sea turtle population there.

She discussed her classroom efforts in her submission for the award:

"The Beneath the Waves curriculum provided by the International Fund for Animal Welfare has added substantial value to the environmental science lessons held in Room 303 at Jackson Avenue School. It sparked thinking about not only what we, as a class can learn and do, but what our entire school and community can learn and do! I turned the curriculum contributed to us by IFAW into a SMART notebook lesson activity. The students took part in, and continue to work on, each of the suggested activities in the resource guide on a weekly basis."

"This curriculum inspired me, my class and our community to help the Earth in seven distinct ways!"

  • "My class tried to get the entire school to sign the Plastic Pledge. We got 135 pledges back and will seek out more signed pledges at our science fair in January."
  • "I am using the IFAW curriculum as a jumping off point to conduct our class project for the school science fair. Our project and display will be based on the environmental influences causing the decline of whale and sea turtle populations."
  • "My class is writing essays about the threats to the marine animals they chose from the IFAW website. They will create illustrations and all of the pictures and essays will be "professionally" published in a book."
  • "I asked the PTA to contribute to purchasing reusable bags for the entire school to hand out at the science fair. They accepted!"
  • "I asked the local Girl Scout troop to set up a booth at the science fair that will help to raise money to buy the school a recycling dumpster"
  • "I booked a one hour assembly program, paid for by a Clean Communities Grants, for our parents and students on the night of the science fair called "Kids Going Green!"
  • "My Destination Imagination team now wants to center their entire challenge, "Instinct Messaging" on the ways that whales communicate and environmental issues that tend to stand in the way of this unique ability. The IFAW resources gave us a head start on our research"

And here is a poem she wrote about her experience in Trinidad:

PITtagging April 10th
The prehistoric nature of your being astounds me
The crawl upon the beaches of Matura – a ritualistic and passionate approach
Body pitting you first begin;
Creating something to settle yourself in.

Moving onto digging with your massive flippers
One after the other, consistent, unrelenting
Slowing down the dig, you feel for the depth
Using your flipper as a paddle, no time to rest yet

Slowly, surely you check that it’s right
By the light of the moon we see that its time
One after another, you release all of your eggs
I stare at you in awe
I respect the tremendous amount of work you have begun
You lay and you lay 80 to 100 eggs at a time
In a trance you appear
Tears stream from your eyes

The last egg has fallen, a job not yet done
Covering begins, to protect your future young.
Hatchlings you’ll never meet but produced with such care
Flippers in place, sand goes flying in the air
Covering the sacred nest, you’d never know was there
The final stage of the process, camouflaging
Protection from all predators

You hiss and gasp to breathe
Your head lifts up towards the sky
You move your awesome body
Slowly you return to the sea from which you came
Disappearing before our eyes
You are submerged beneath the crashing waves
Leaving us to wonder…

Get involved! Help IFAW educate, inspire and empower young people to take action
for animals and become the next generation of environmental stewards. Visit

Comments: 2

8 years ago

Best Regards ... svaka ?ast, pozdravljam sve napore u zaštiti životinja.

8 years ago

Congrats! It's so inspriring to read about those helping the animal kingdom!
I just started using for searching on the internet as they agree there is a need to help animals and will donate to pet rescue charities when using it to search.
Glad to hear of a way to help out pet organizations with something as simple as searching the internet.

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