Chasing Coral Screening

Ms. Sales grade 5 class



A few weeks ago I wrote a letter to my daughter’s teacher to ask her if she would allow me to share an award winning documentary with her classroom. Anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m terrified of asking for things because I am usually afraid that I am bothering or inconveniencing someone. Nevertheless I felt that this was an important film to share, so I mustered up the courage and made my daughter Rebecca deliver the letter while I waited safely outside the school.

To my delight, her teacher had agreed and had even said that she thought it was a great idea. I got to work registering the screening online with the filmmakers and preparing what I would say to her classroom. I felt great knowing that I was actually going to be doing something to influence change in a positive way and not just sit in front of a computer writing about it.

Chasing Coral is a documentary that aims to bring attention to the mass coral bleaching that happens around the world as the ocean’s temperature continues to rise. A group of scientists and filmmakers share their journey and their hardships as they try to get consistent photographic evidence of this historic event to prove it’s validity to those who still believe that climate change is not a problem.

You can learn more about the film at chasing coral

You can also find Gore Hill and Ms. Sales class on the world impact map on their site

impact map

On the morning of the screening my only concern was that something would go wrong and I wouldn’t be able to share the film with the class. These fears were not entirely unfounded. After a few failed efforts to get the movie going on the class projector by connecting it to my cell phone, a quick thinking Ms. Sales enlisted the help of another teacher, Mr. Stanley, just moments before he was to leave on a field trip! After his help and a brief farewell, he was off on his field trip and we were off to explore the deep blue sea and the coral reefs hidden below the surface. Other than the sound of my X-files ringtone interrupting the playback, there were no other technical issues. Phew!

I was really happy to see the expressions on the student’s faces and to see their interest and concern for the coral reefs. It was a fantastic sight to see so many hands raised by students who had something to say. I shared as much information as I could with them, not only about why our ocean’s are so important, but why it is important to care for our Great Lakes, and all natural environments. My daughter told me that even after I had left, the conversation continued for a bit and everyone seemed to have enjoyed the presentation. These are children who will grow up to be the new stewards of the land. I am both proud and encouraged to know that they are working hard to learn about important issues and to put great ideas for solutions into practice.

Before I left the class, I handed out what I call an “Eco Friend Challenge”, which is a form with 10 different eco challenges and a space for their parents or guardians to initial each time they’re able to complete a challenge. The student with the most initials (i.e. challenges met) will win a prize from me. I hope they enjoy this challenge and keep these eco friendly ideas in mind in their day to day lives. I’m also super excited to report that Ms. Sales has asked if I would come back and do more screenings of the film in the future, in order to share this important message to more classes. I would be honored!

Thank you so much to Gore Hill and all it’s staff and student’s for working so hard for the environment. Gore Hill Public School is well known for it’s efforts in caring for the environment and we are proud that our family can be part of that legacy. Keep up the good work and thank you for having me!

And thank you to hard working scientists, students, inventors, artists and advocates around the world for caring and for doing something about it so that future generations can have a chance to enjoy the beautiful world that they deserve.

You can also check out my website/blog at lady of the lake


copyright Chantal Shanks 2018


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