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Local kids help save the environment, one piece of litter at a time

Jayne Black shows 6th grader Josie Gunn how to make a jellyfish out of sea and waterway trash.
Posted at 1:06 AM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 07:51:57-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Jayne black teaches kids that anything can be art, even garbage.

“I want this generation to think differently about trash and recycling," she said. "So making art projects from ocean debris, I guarantee you they will never think the same way about trash.”

Black runs Creative Kids Rock, which teaches up-cycled art and fashion design to children and families. She is also currently Mrs. Alabama Earth in the Mrs. USA Earth pageant, and now, an ambassador for Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea. Her mission is to use art to teach kids about environmental issues like plastic pollution.

“Using art to communicate that message is really powerful," said Black. "Especially with children. The whole point is, especially as a person with dyslexia, is that I really celebrate thinking differently.”

When sixth grader Josie Gunn is creating art, her learning disability doesn’t hold her back, she said.

“I don't have people saying, ‘How is that hard?' and ‘You should be able to know that word.’ I can kind of just be like, here's my own thinking with art. It's kind of like, people can't really make fun of you for it. Because it's your own thinking, and everybody has their own style of art.”

All local kids will have their own chance to turn ocean trash into art at the Day of Play at Hands on Deck this Sunday, October 17th. Washed Ashore will provide kids aluminum can tabs, netting and bobbers to make jellyfish. The jellyfish will then be sold at a gift shop in Portland, Oregon.

“Some people think that animals lives don't matter," said Gunn. "And I think they do, because the same as our lives, every animal is made for a reason.”

Through Creative Kids Rock, Black does local cleanups with kids, followed by recycling lessons and up-cycled art projects.

“One of the things that I've made with children is maracas made out of water bottles," she said. "And when you see the time and the creativity that children put into this, and the pride that they feel in art that they've created. They are not going to think of a water bottle in the same way ever again. That's the impact, we want to make.”

If your child would like to get their creative and environmental juices flowing this weekend, they can come make jellyfish at Hands on Deck on Sunday from 12 to 2 p.m. Send an email to with any questions and to reserve your child's spot.