Students from Lanai and Molokai were able to go on a whale-watching expedition for the first time with the Pacific Whale Foundation earlier this year.
Approximately 460 students in kindergarten to 12th grade from Lanai High and Elementary School and over 500 students from Kilohana School, Maunaloa School, and Kualapu’u School in Molokai were able to go on free trips led by certified marine naturalists, according to the foundation, thanks to the generosity of Servco Foundation and other donors.
“Our ultimate goal is to inspire the students to be stewards for the ocean,” said youth education specialist Robyn Ehrlich of Pacific Whale Foundation. “For many keiki, this is their first exposure to something that’s right in their own backyard. Hopefully it will encourage them to appreciate and protect the environment.”
The Keiki Whalewatch is an educational program offering customized ecotours and science enrichment to school groups. The program is available from January through April, and open to all grade levels, with grade-level appropriate curriculum, hands-on activities and an optional classroom session.