A blue whale might be bigger than a goldfish, but that didn’t stop a local Grade 3 class from adopting one.
They just have to decide what to name it.
Rosalyn Chen, one of the students, likes “Bubbles.”
Her classmate, Tony Liu, offered “Marshmallow.”
The class at LeMarchant St. Thomas School in south-end Halifax, made chocolate chip cookies and held a bake sale – and a vote – to raise money for a donation to the World Wildlife Fund.
The blue whale – the world’s largest animal – won out over the emperor penguin, the arctic fox and the hippopotamus.
National Geographic estimates there are between 10,000 to 25,000 blue whales in the ocean.
The organization’s website says, “Aggressive hunting in the 1900s by whalers seeking whale oil drove them (blue whales) to the brink of extinction.
Between 1900 and the mid-1960s, some 360,000 blue whales were slaughtered.”
The idea for the LeMarchant class to adopt a whale started with classroom helper and former pastry chef Jackson Martin.
He offered to do a baking project with the kids.
“Originally, we were going to just bake the cookies and let the kids eat them,” says their teacher, Katie Mott.
Then they started to think bigger. Way bigger.
They decided on a bake sale to help school renovations.
But Mott asked the class, “What else do we all care about?”
The answer was unanimous.
“Well, we all liked animals,” Rosalyn reminds her teacher.
“And then after recess we told you and then you said that WWF saves animals,” she says.
“And we all agreed,” says Amélie Krueger, another student.
Donors voted for their favourite animals, chosen by students, during the bake sale.
Mott had the class research facts about each, including the winning giant cetacean.
“I learned that the baby blue whale is eight metres,” says Rosalyn.
“I learned that the adult blue whale is 33 metres,” adds Amélie.
The class measured it out in the hall, standing 133 steps away from each other – almost the length of the school.
It took them two days to bake the cookies.
“The first day we made the dough,” says Amélie. “And the second day we rolled them.”
“But without Jackson it would have been three days because he cooked them,” adds Tony.
The students’ goal was to reach $40.
They made $65.15 in one day.
They weren’t able to make enough cookies for the entire school, so the sale was only open to teachers.
But that didn’t stop other students from getting involved.
“We had kids who were coming and giving donations even though they knew they couldn’t get anything back,” Mott says.
The World Wildlife Fund’s symbolic adoption program supports conservation efforts and works to protect wildlife and habitat, said WWF-Canada in an email.
“Our animal adoptions are symbolic, which means donors are helping us save all animals at risk, not just one.”
An adoption kit comes with a certificate and a plush toy.
The students are waiting for theirs to arrive in the mail.
In the meantime they received something else.
“Jackson, he gave us this apron and a chef hat to keep,” says Tony. “And they’re professional ones.”
Why did the class donate the money?
“Because keeping the money to ourselves is greedy,” says Rosalyn.
“And we wanted to give it to an animal or something that actually needs the money because we don’t really need the money and other people do,” finishes Amélie.