Save the Sharks

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Thanks to an environmental education-through-art program, Hampton Bays second-grader Sofia Solano Cruz and her family will get to take a vacation to the Cayman Islands.

It all began when Sophia and her fellow second-grade students were charged with entering a “Save the Sharks” poster contest during Debra McDowell’s art class. The contest, sponsored by the Beneath the Sea organization, was created to make young people aware of some of the perils faced by marine creatures. The first-place national prize, which Sofia won, was a trip for four to the Cayman Islands.  

After much careful research, Sofia drew a picture of a girl at the grocery store, which had signs posted reading “Do Not Buy Shark Products.” In the color drawing, the girl has a “no sharks” illustration bubble above her head.

According to Ms. McDowell, Sofia simply stated, “I am so overly joyed!” upon hearing of her prize.