Eight-year-old prompts Education Ministry to launch adopt-a-beach scheme – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Eight-year-old prompts Education Ministry to launch adopt-a-beach scheme

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Bermuda now has an “adopt-a-beach” programme, thanks to eight-year-old Samuel Bleeker. The East End Primary pupil has been commended by Education Minister Dame Jennifer Smith.

Samuel said he noticed the scheme about three weeks ago while researching tide pools for school. “I was looking online for my science project. I saw science projects for kids, and I found adopt-a-beach.”

His mother, Claire Bleeker, recalled: “One of the sites that came up was adopt-a-beach, and he turned around and said, ‘Mummy, why can't we do that?'.”

Adopt-a-beach programmes call for groups to pick a beach or stretch of shoreline for litter removal and maintenance. At his mother's suggestion, Samuel said, “I wrote to Dame Jennifer and I wrote to Keep Bermuda Beautiful.”

Last week, Mrs Bleeker got a phone call from the Ministry of Education inviting her and Samuel to visit the House of Assembly, to hear the Minister say that public primary schools would be encouraged to adopt a beach.

On Monday, Samuel got to see inside Parliament for the first time. “We got to see the room where they talk, with the PLP on one side and the UBP on the other side, and when we left Dame Jennifer gave me a certificate for adopt-a-beach.”

An Education Ministry spokeswoman said: “The response from schools has been astounding, with a large majority of schools agreeing to take on a beach.”

Samuel explained the programme: “You pick a beach and you go clean it up, take the seaweed off the beach and maybe plant some trees around it.”

East End Primary has opted to clean Buildings Bay. The beach, which is near the school, is often referred to as “Glass Beach”.

Samuel and his younger brother Charlie can often be found at Buildings Bay in St George's Samuel says his favourite pastime there is to put on a facemask and look at fish.

The attention Samuel has generated has been welcomed by East End Primary. His project that led to the creation of adopt-a-beach was for the school's annual science fair next Wednesday.

The event is open to the public and will be held between 6.30pm and 8pm in the school hall.

School science coordinator Deborah Raat said: “It's going to be our tenth anniversary fair, and all the more special because one student has gone a step further.”

The teacher said the school was organising a to-do list for students as part of their first cleanup at Buildings Bay.

“Maybe we'll have Samuel tell us what it needs the most,” she said.

Useful web links: www.adoptabeach.com, www.adoptabeach.org.uk, schools.moed.bm.

Photo by Glenn Tucker King of the sand castle East End Primary School student Samuel Bleeker was commended by Government for suggesting adopt-a-beach programme.
Photo by Mark Tatem Minister of Education Dame Jennifer Smith presents East End Primary student Samuel Bleeker with a certificate for his Adopt a Beach programme.

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Published March 02, 2011 at 9:11 am (Updated March 02, 2011 at 9:11 am)

Eight-year-old prompts Education Ministry to launch adopt-a-beach scheme

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