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Teacher Earns International Honor

McBride High School’s Laura H. Castillo-Roberts is one of six teachers internationally to earn an Education Innovation Award from a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching about the world’s oceans.

Massachusetts-based Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs provides classroom resources and other support to help teens connect, create and communicate about the ocean. The organization impacts nearly 15,000 students in 106 countries.  Bow Seat launched the inaugural awards to recognize teachers who successfully incorporate Bow Seat programs into their classroom.

Castillo-Roberts’ award-winning unit “The Power of the Word” encourages students in her Spanish for Spanish Speakers class to use their bilingualism to promote positive changes in their community.  She linked this curricular goal with the objective of Bow Seat’s Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition.

McBride students wrote bilingual stories about marine debris prevention and read them to local elementary school students.  The McBride students then selected their favorite story and developed it into a script for a stage play, ultimately performing it at a community event presented by the local aquarium.

“I believe that the real goal of education is to empower students with knowledge, sensitivity and courage to act, reform and contribute to the world they live in,” Castillo-Roberts said.  “Sometimes one image, one film or one poem can spark the creative minds of our youth.”

The award comes with a grant of $750.

“We were so impressed by the nominations that we received from around the world from educators committed to inspiring their students to make a difference for our oceans and watersheds,” the award announcement stated.

The name Bow Seat is based upon a 2011 documentary “From the Bow Seat” that founder Linda Cabot and her daughters created regarding environmental issues impacting the Gulf of Maine.  Learn more at bowseat.org.

Castillo-Roberts