With grant, kids get a taste of beach life
August 8, 2019 | View PDF
Children from the Community Action Partnership of Kern and the Friendship House were beneficiaries of a grant from the California Coastal Commission which provided for a trip to the beach, where they received education on ocean pollution, watersheds and marine debris.
Approximately 120 students from the Shafter Youth Center and Friendship House Community Center attended the Kids Ocean Day event.
The event started with a scenic bus tour to William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach in San Simeon. Shafter Youth Center's Angie Nelson, director of the CAPK in Shafter, said that one of the highlights of the trip was the look on the kids' faces as they watched the herd of zebras on the range off Highway 1, near Hearst Castle.
The day continued with the kids working at six rotating stations of activities, led by California State Park rangers. From beach cleanup to learning how elephant seals move on land, kids learned so much information in such a short time. They learned about Native American culture and played with instruments made by Indians from the area.
Shore whaling was an activity that allowed kids to go on the pier and learn about the majestic creatures that make appearances almost daily. After lunch, the kids got back on the bus and took a 4.5-mile ride north, to the Piedras Blancas Rookery to see elephant seals. "The kids were amazed by the size of the animals, and even more surprised when they saw how fast a 5,000-pound seal moves," said Nelson.
Friends of the elephant seals in San Simeon were on hand to give the kids more information on local wildlife, all in the cool 70-degree weather with mild sun. Although the summer program is coming to an end for the year, Nelson and her crew still are at work with their afternoon programs that will be beginning when school is in session. This program includes activities for the kids to do after school, as well as provides assistance for kids who need help with their homework and a work space and supplies to allow kids to complete their assignments in a safe and helpful environment.