It is a wonderful way to expose the students to different aspects of our ecology, and to be in awe of the wondrous nature around us.
My experience with Save the Whales has been a very enjoyable and fulfilling one. Every event that I have participated in from beach and park litter clean ups, emblem gluing, to tabling at Fiesta del Mar at the Monterey Bay Aquarium has cemented my feeling a part of the community here on the Monterey Peninsula. Not only that, but volunteering with Save the Whales has supplemented my academic work significantly. The conservation education efforts of Save the Whales greatly impact the community through creating awareness and fostering engagement with the local environments.
First, I would like to mention how I learned about the Save the Whales Program.
I was waiting at a Doctor’s office when I noticed a beautifully designed flyer in Spanish: “La Bahia de Monterey Empieza en tu Calle”.
Since I work with Latino students and their parents at a local elementary school in Santa Cruz, I decided to take this information with me to our Parent Meeting and to ask them if they would be interested in learning more. They were very curious and excited about this possibility.
I called Save the Whales to ask if they would like to come to hour school to make a presentation about “Monterey Bay Begins on Your Street” to our Latino Parents. The lovely Maris was very helpful, and arranged a presentation for us.
Save the Wales came to our parent meeting with a Watershed Model of the Monterey Bay to illustrate how the bay really starts on their street. The presentation was very engaging, the visual aids were excellent, and the instructors--including, a young graduate student, who acted as the Spanish translator--were knowledgeable, funny, and fantastic.
This presentation was an eye-opener for the parents, because it was a hands-on presentation, where parents actively participated in the presentation. Some of their comments were: “now I can understand what my son was talking about”;
“I did not know that by lifting a water bottle lid I can help so much”; “I will not wash my car on my driveway anymore”; and, “I will watch out for garbage in the park”.
The presentation was such a total success that other schools in district are interested in have the same presentation at their schools.
As an educator, I am so thankful to the Save the Whales organization for coming to our Latino Parent Meeting and teaching us about the importance of helping to keep our environment clean. Our parents were very thankful to the Save the Whales organization for this opportunity.
A big thank you to Save the Whales!!
Each time our students have the opportunity to attend a classroom presentation from Save the Whales, everyone very much appreciates all that they have learned. Because we are a homeschool program, parents and students have the opportunity to continue learning, whatever topic has been presented. We have been very fortunate to be able to participate in these presentations and look forward to inviting Save The Whales whenever our schedule permits.
Monterey County Home Charter School, Salinas
Students in grades K-8 at the Monterey County Home Charter School were very excited to have the special presentation, Amazing Sea Turtles, to look forward to during the winter break. The information, video, and hands on turtle shells and skulls were especially interesting to students. We look forward to inviting Whales on Wheels to our school again.
I am a Third grade teacher in Salinas and have had the privilege of having Tom come to our school to teach the students about whales, otters, sea turtles, and ocean ecology. His presentations are hands on, with lots of activities and actual whale bones and baleen. He shares videos, models and pictures with the students and they are very engaged and interested in everything he shares with us. A lucky child gets to put on the whale costume.
They love his presentations.
Every year Tom from Save the Whales gives our Third graders a presentation about Whales or sea turtles. The kids love learning about the animals and how to help the environment. All the pictures and models he brings are great. When one student gets dressed up in the whale costume everybody has a great time. Hope he can come back every year!
I have had the privilege of serving as an intern at Save the Whales for two and a half years. It has been an honor to be involved with an organization that touches the lives of so many, human and non-human. I have never met someone who does as much to help animals as Maris. She is an exemplary human being in that she is completely selfless and will stop at nothing to make the world a better place. She works tirelessly and is directly involved with every aspect of STW, whether it is doing administrative work, speaking in classrooms, or kneeling next to a storm drain to attach an emblem.
As an intern, I have been involved in many different projects and I am always amazed at how multifaceted STW proves to be. I have spoken in classrooms and at public outreach events such as Whalefest, participated in litter-cleanups, affixed emblems to storm drains, labeled non-toxic chemicals in Orchard Supply and Home Depot, collected and statistically analyzed public intercept surveys, and contacted local car washes to suggest a voucher program. One of the most touching experiences I've had with STW was hosting a field trip for South County schoolchildren, many of which had never been to the beach. As the children eagerly posed for a class photo, a pod of dolphins appeared in the background. It was as if nature was smiling in approval.
I can honestly say that Save the Whales has changed my life. I have learned humility, compassion, and respect for nature. I have learned that there really is no such thing as "one-time use" or "throwing away". Plastic does not just go "away". It persists in the environment and its effects can be devastating. Working with Save the Whales has also made me realize my passion for science education, and it is now my career goal to teach biology at a university.
Monterey Bay needs Save the Whales. Maris is the voice of marine organisms that cannot speak for themselves. She teaches children and adults alike to love animals and to protect them by changing destructive habits. She helps people make informed decisions about the products they use and teaches them how to reduce their carbon footprint. It has been an absolute honor working for Save the Whales, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this organization.
The City of Gonzales and its “Gonzales Grows Green” Community Sustainability Initiative depends on Save the Whales to support our goals of providing high-quality environmental education and outreach to our community. They engage with our community in ways that are relevant to both our geographic location and demographic makeup.
While there is much focus on our oceans (as there should be), many inland communities such as ours face pressing issues such as litter, blight, illegal dumping, stormwater contamination, and lack of understanding of the importance of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. Whether it is our summer library program, summer day camps, after-school programs, a weekend community cleanup event, or community event in our park, Save the Whales finds unique ways to complement and add depth and context to our efforts to educate our community on our specific environmental challenges.
The programs and staff of Save the Whales are my go-to education partners. Their education programs are fun, engaging, and hands-on! When connected with our library’s summer program this past year, over 100 parents and children showed up for the event (a huge turnout for our small community). Their programs help participants consider both the negative and positive consequences of their actions on a local and global level. Their programs offer practical solutions for change that empowers individuals in our community to be collective agents of change.
I am a 2nd grade teacher in Castroville, CA. My students got to experience the program on sea otters by Save the Whales. My students had an amazing time learning about sea otters, touching sea otter artifacts, acting out sea otter behavior, and dressing up as a sea otter. I am very thankful for Save the Whales doing these presentations for students and look forward to having Save the Whales visit again.
We have had the privilege of having Save the Whales present at our school for two consecutive years. Tom has presented an excellent watersheds presentation for our fifth grade classes. He is very flexible regarding scheduling and communicates the expectations and presentation needs well in advance, allowing ample time to prepare for his visit. The greatest part of his presentation is that he ensures each student (sometimes there are 30 children per class!) gets a turn to contribute to the presentation and project. He talks in a way that engages the students and is very patient. Tom is very knowledgable and was able to answer all of the questions the students presented them with. The students were so thrilled that there were actual artifacts that they could touch! The students fully understood the purpose and lessons being taught in the presentation. So much so, that numerous students have reported changes that their family has made at their own houses because of something they learned in the watersheds presentation. Multiple students have asked when we might be able to have a presentation from Tom again!
Working with save the whales has been a great experience. Being able to teach the latino community has been eye opening experience for myself and the community memebers that we educate. Most of the parents and children that I have spoken to are thankful for informing them about the marine and terrestrial enviornmental concerns that we being to their attention.
Educating children about marine life was one the most first goals I set for myself and I appreciate Save the Whales for allowing me to accomplish this goal. In working with Save the Whales I was able to gain a greater respect for my Latin culture and Spanish language as I was able to communicate with the Latin community about pollution, pesticides, and La Vaquita as most of this information is not a central topic in our communities.
The presentation has been key lesson in talking about the protection and conservation of marine wild life. Students are able to see and hold various marine bone replicas as well as real ones. They see first hand the impact plastics have in our oceans and how they can help change. Thank you for the years of service to students in this county and helping them become responsible global citizens.
I am a 4th grade teacher in Monterey. Save the Whales came to my school to do a program on sea otters. It was informative, interesting, and the kids loved it. There were lots of interesting facts and anecdotes, and I learned quite a bit. The kids really enjoyed themselves with the hands-on realia and the cool slides and presentation.
I was very happy to have this wonderful presentation for my students, and hope to see Save The Whales again next year. Great presenters, great program!
We brought Save the Whales down to the San Diego area to work with our 4th and 5th grade classes a few years ago. They were very professional and really worth the costs associated with their visits. I still have teachers asking about having them return, but unfortunately we haven’t had sufficient funding to have they repeat their visit. I highly recommend them for their great work with kids and education, and for their excellent science interpretation.
Save The Whales is an amazing educational experience! Tom brought the Whales on Wheels workshop to my high school in Santa Cruz. He presented an interactive and engaging seminar that kept students interested and participating the entire time. His dedication to nature and depth of knowledge is phenomenal. My students loved that he brought so many items for them to identify and explore. I found the workshop to be an excellent addition to my Environmental Science and Life Science courses, and a fantastic way to bring nature to the classroom. I serve an at-risk and low income population, so the fact that these programs are offered free to Santa Cruz schools makes it an even more fantastic opportunity. I highly recommend Save The Whales for any educator who wants to increase student involvement, activate learning to diverse student populations, and connect young people to nature in all its glory.
Tom has been coming to our school, Bay View, for the past two years. I was extremely impressed with his preparation, organization, and willingness to present this important information to our fourth graders. My students were completely engaged 100% of the time! I have recommended this presentation to all other 4th and 5th grade teachers. Thank you for a great experience.
Save The Whales is a phenomenal non-profit. Not only are they educational but they are interactive and very scientifically accurate taking marine mammal natural history, science and policy to the public in creative and innovative ways. Truly an educational non-profit touching many children/schools each year. They are also very involved in current marine mammal issues such as the Vaquita and helping to heighten the awareness of this nearly extinct marine mammal. Kudos to Save the Whales - truly making a difference.
Save the Whales' "Sea Turtles" presentation was a great hit here at the Gonzales library!
In south Monterey county, residents rarely go to the beach. Issues concerning our oceans aren't high priority because the education isn't there. We know agriculture and rural lore, but we forget we are literally at the edge of the country. Our location is a great gift, and we ought know more about caring for it.
Tom and Amanda were very informed and well prepared, and they did well with the demands of a varied audience (different ages and different levels of English language proficiency).
I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a presentation that drives home the importance of maritime preservation and educates, while being fun.
I had a great experience with Save the Whales! This is a great organization that really captures people of all ages through education and information. As a service learner, I was able to educate kids on the safety of marine animals, and work hands on in making a difference with putting emblems on storm drains. I was even able to dress as a sea turtle as shown in the pictures to really connect with children on a friendly level. Save the Whales is a great organization for all ages, and is a great pick for service learners, especially those in the environmental and marine sciences.
I had an awesome experience with Save The Whales! I really enjoyed educating elementary school students from Salinas about water quality, MBNMS, and blue whales! Never a dull moment with this knowledgeable, professional, and LIVELY group of truly genuine people. One thing I would like to stress is the importance of Save The Whales' services. I witnessed firsthand the absorption and retention of knowledge by kids after several weeks of Save The Whales field trips. We live in a beautiful area with so many natural resources needing protection - inspiring the next generation about environmental stewardship is always a fun and sustainable process with Save The Whales!
My fourth grade students were very excited to see a gigantic life-size humpback, and to learn the story behind Save the Whale's newest learning experience, "Dee" the whale. Maris and the Save the Whales staff are enthusiastic, wonderful people who engage the children in learning about whales and about how our everyday choices can impact marine mammals. In an interactive 45 minutes, the staff covered everything from whale anatomy and whale sounds to watersheds and storm drains, and how everything ends up in the ocean. Students experience going inside "Dee" the whale to see her inner anatomy and to understand how pollutants, trash and plastics can impact the health of even the biggest mammals. The consequences of our (human) actions have never been easier to understand. The children will certainly remember this hands-on lesson and this amazing experience for the rest of their lives. Thank you, Save the Whales!