Mariposa School Holds Creative Cleanup

At a time when most schools are focused on fundraising to support their own libraries and arts programs, one local school decided to share some of the money their families raised at a beach cleanup event to help further Heal the Bay’s mission.

Mariposa School of Global Education students donated $1,200 (out of more than $12,000 raised) from their 4th Annual Beach Clean-A-Thon to Heal the Bay. The Beach-Clean-A-Thon is a school-wide event that involves all grades. In April, kindergarten classes cleaned Malibu Lagoon, while other grades cleaned Malibu Creek State Park to learn how the creek flows into the ocean and affects local oceans and beaches.

“We must remember to model community partnerships and philanthropy towards those causes we wish to see furthered,” said Jeff Lough, principal of the Agoura Hills-based school in Las Virgenes Unified School District. “Our donation and partnership with Heal the Bay is an example of our commitment to this idea. Mariposa’s donation will come back to our children tenfold when they grow up and enjoy the coastline that Heal the Bay works so relentlessly to protect.”

When Mariposa sixth graders presented Heal the Bay Coastal Resources Director Sarah Sikich with the check on May 21 at their campus, she reminded the students that their contributions would pay dividends for all beach lovers. “The money you raised will go to keeping wildlife and the ocean healthy and clean,” she said.

Sarah also noted that the students will be supporting Heal the Bay’s beach cleanup programs, as well as our work to bring underserved kids — some of whom have never been to the beach before — to our Aquarium to learn about the ocean and the animals who live in Santa Monica Bay.

Mariposa formed a new partnership with Heal the Bay this year to help support student conservation efforts and as part of the school’s educational components. Students learn responsibility by participating in activities like the Beach Clean-A-Thon, which acts as both a fundraiser and educational event. The remainder of funds raised will go directly to programs, resources and services for Mariposa students.

Fundraising efforts by students included children sponsoring other children, start-up lemonade stands, kids’ video messages filmed at the beach and hand-written letters with ocean-themed art. Donations came in all shapes and sizes, from hand-picked coins from kid’s piggy banks to online donations from out-of-state friends and relatives.

Mariposa’s 2013 Beach Clean-A-Thon will be held near our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium location and will include an educational tour of our marine learning center.

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