Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Whale of a Tale: Elementary School Kids Write Songs and Hundreds of Letters to Save Orca

Posted on

As Brooklyn’s literary hipsters celebrate the anniversary of Moby Dick’s U.S. publication, across the country, schoolchildren are using words to free one very special whale.

It sounds like a Free Willy sequel: A group of first graders from Tom Williams Elementary in North Las Vegas, Nev., are working together to release a killer whale named Morgan, who’s captive in a small tank in Spain. Morgan’s plight has attracted the attention of activists worldwide for the past three years, but teacher Robin Vircsick’s class of kids may be the whale’s youngest allies.

“We put together this school-wide competition called ‘Write a Letter, Change the World’, and we had just excellent participation,” Vircsick told 8 News Now. “It was interesting. Originally, I wanted to use it to teach writing and geography. The more they found out about other whales in captivity, the more that math was brought into it, because they wanted to know how big are these orcas and how small are these tanks.”

After learning of Morgan’s cramped conditions, the kids started writing letters (amassing more than 100), crafting songs and making pictures to raise awareness about the animal’s struggle.

This group of compassionate first-graders and the rest of the world will learn what’s next for Morgan after a Dec. 3 hearing in the Netherlands.

If you would like to help these young activists free Morgan, you can learn more about the effort here.