Kindergarten kids pitch in to clean up environment October 02 2014

Our awesome son Lucas features in this great story from the Mahurangi Matters!

Kindergarten kids pitch in to clean up environment

About 40 children picked up cans, pieces of plastic and old fishing line in Snells Beach last month after learning how rubbish can harm marine life.

The working bee was inspired by four-year-old Lucas Hathaway, the son of Steve Hathaway, who created the hit children’s TV series Young Ocean Explorers.

Snells Beach Kindergarten head teacher Kerrie Weenink says the children have been watching Young Ocean Explorers videos, learning about the effects of plastics on turtles and fish.

“Lucas has been organising rubbish collection trips around the playground and the children got so passionate about cleaning up the sea we decided to organise a time to get to the beach so they could make a difference,” Kerrie says.

The children also learned ways to cut down on waste to stop rubbish entering the ocean in the first place.

“We have now got children going home and teaching their parents how to reduce waste and change their ways.”

Steve says Lucas has been running around picking up rubbish for about a year and frequently organises family clean-ups.

“He’s changed the way I do things,” Steve says. “Now I find I’m picking up pieces of plastic all the time.”

Lucas appears to be following in the footsteps of his sister, Riley, who stars in Young Ocean Explorers, and may also be destined for the screen.

“He’s even more passionate about the environment than she is.”

The message of the TV series may soon be inspiring children across the country as DVDs of the series will be distributed to more than 2500 schools in New Zealand and the Cook Islands early next year after Steve raised more than $40,000 through a crowd funding website.

“We set out to raise $20,000, but the response was so overwhelming we are going to be able to partially fund series two of Young Ocean Explorers. We want to get a whole new generation of kids inspired about how cool NZ’s underwater world is.”