Southern Brooklyn

Photos: Shell Bank Junior High Celebrates Ocean Week

Students make t-shirts to celebrate Ocean Week.

Students of Shell Bank Junior High School (I.S. 14) concluded the second annual Ocean Week celebration, capping the five day event with a marine biology festival on Friday.

This event was created to give students at the Bay-area school at 2424 Batchelder Street a more interactive way of learning about marine animals and habitats and their role in our lives. The festival, which also focused on recycling and preservation, was full of kids working together on many fun activities, including t-shirt screen printing using fish fossils, a refreshments stand with recycling incentives, sand and spin art, alongside a bunch of amusements.

“It’s a celebration of our whole school, it’s a celebration of our academies, we have three separate academies,” said Vice Principal Teri Ahearn. “It’s a really wonderful thing … [the students] really do deserve to be showcased and rewarded for the hard work that they’ve done all year.”

Students organized the event alongside Principal Anne Tully, Ahearn, and other teachers and faculty.

“Our school has an aquatic theme. We have three academies; oceanography, technology, and law and each of them incorporate aquatics into their theme,” Tully said, in between talking with kids, hanging up art to dry, and orchestrating the festivities. “This is really just a culminating festival for the kids, to celebrate all of the hard work that they have done.”

Aside from the festival, Ocean Week hosted several other activities throughout the five school days. There was an innovation fair showcasing works that students had done, including PowerPoint presentations and movies about marine-related topics, like coral reefs; there was also a career day with different speakers that were key to each academy, such as oceanographers and scientists; one day featured a play, beautifully decorated with metallic sea creatures, mermaids, fish and even a giant octopus.

Two large mosaics with coral and a sting ray were also beautifully displayed in the auditorium. The pièce de résistance was  a huge sea mural that spanned the entirety of the main hallway. As one walks down the hallway, the marine life is accurate to the depth of the ocean as you descend deeper into the ocean. It was painted with bright vivid colors by some very talented students.

To help quench festival-goers’ thirsts on Friday, the Recycling Club was selling ice cold bottles of water and juice pouches, with one thing on their minds: recycling.

“The bottles are for recycling,” explained Debra Stewart, a paraprofessional at Shell Bank. “There is a company called TerraCycle that pays three cents for every pouch and then makea bags, backpacks and other things out of them. They recycle snack bags and cell phones and the school can register. They help organizations earn money while recycling.”

The event wasn’t without its celebrity, either. NBA Knicks shooting consultant Tim Sullivan was on hand to teach kids some sports science.

Sullivan said that he, “developed a curriculum based on the idea that kids want to play ball, kids want to dance, kids want to  experience different things and dream.” Sullivan came out to celebrate Ocean Week and teach students and faculty his signature technique. “They don’t always get to do that [dream], but the program that I developed, its goal is inclusion. Using alternative activities to make decisions, towards what they really want to make decisions towards for their future.”

The rest of the festival was filled with sand art stations, carnival games, a bouncy maze, popcorn and cotton candy machines. But the fun distractions aside, the students were taking away a clear message.

“I learned that if we keep polluting the oceans, and contaminating them with garbage, and with boats making oil in the ocean, fish are going to die and at one point there aren’t going to be a lot of fish,” said smiling eighth grader Cynthia Ramirez. “It’s going to affect the whole food chain.”

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  1. wow, we are gonna help get kids connected to the ocean by selling them water and brainwashing them into thinking recycling is ok. with educational systems like the ones we have, corporations will be in charge forever. this whole event is worth shit imo. 

  2. funny thing just came to me! look at all the waste they created to celebrate knowing about saving the environment! all they did was sell shit to the kids to make money it seems, and had to launder some money out of those guys who sell inflatable housing. this is  our educational system at work?. who are the clowns who put this together, and wheres the money trail lead to!? 😀 shoulda took the kids out into the streets to pick up litter instead! that would be better for the environment and teach the kids one or two things. if we keep lying to our youth, we will be idiots for ever!

  3. The kids didnt have to pay for a thing. This was a celebration of their hard work. Any amusements and snacks were made by charitable donations. Sounds like someone had a rough childhood, no candy in the sewer?

  4. These photos take me back 40 years since I graduated from Shell Bank and was last in the building. Judging from walking around my old neighborhood it doesn’t seem that the students photographed are representative of the neighborhood’s children. Are the neighborhood’s children predominantlh attending other middle schools than IS 14?

  5. Penn Gillette is a libertarian type that simply doesn’t “like” the idea that we are being programmed to recycle. Yes, recycling is not going to make a short end profit. But that’s not supposed to be part of the equation. Imagine if we stopped recycling. Next thing you know we will be forced to turn parkland into trash heaps. No one wants a dump near them. The smell alone is murderous.

  6. when i was in shellbank those three years were the best. it was all just having a good time with freaninds.


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