Lynn teacher joins New England Aquarium’s Boston Marathon team to support program that brings ocean into classrooms

Sarah-Anne Johnson
Sarah-Anne Johnson
When Sarah-Anne Johnson steps off the Boston Marathon starting line this April, it will be her first time running, and she will be doing it for her students.

An elementary school art teacher in Lynn, Johnson usually enjoys the marathon from the sidelines. But, this year, she will run on April 21 as a member of the New England Aquarium team which is raising money for the Aquarium’s community outreach program. The program brings tide pools and aquatic animals to 45,000 children in day cares, schools, YMCAs, Boys & Girls clubs, and other community centers in the Greater Boston area. And, Johnson has had the program in her classroom.

“Students like mine, who may not have the means to otherwise go to the Aquarium and meet Myrtle the Turtle, can with this incredible program,” said Johnson, 34, a Newburyport native who now lives in Danvers. “Once children come face to face with these great creatures, how can they not want to protect them and our oceans? Last year, after my students put on a sea turtle shell costume and touched starfish in the touch tank during a visit from the Aquarium’s Education Department, they talked about it for weeks.”

Johnson is one of 25 members of the Aquarium’s team this year. Each runner is raising $5,000 for the community outreach program. The Aquarium is an official charity of the 118th Boston Marathon. To sponsor Johnson, click on the link: https://secure2.convio.net/neaq/site/Donation2?idb=0&df_id=3380&3380.donation=landing

On Patriots Day in years past, Johnson attended Red Sox games and then cheered for the marathon runners in Kenmore Square. But last year was quite different. “I was in Kenmore when I was told to turn around and leave as fast as I could,” she said. “The events of last year made me mad, but what inspires me to run is how awesome Boston is. When all hell broke loose, Bostonians ran to help.”

Running has always been on her bucket list – even though training in all this snow, ice, and cold has been tough. “Doing this year’s marathon is such an amazing chance to be part of something that shows just how great Boston is,” she said. “When one of my fourth-grade students overheard me say that I was running, she asked me, ‘Miss Johnson, are you going to win?’ I explained that crossing the finish line will be winning for me.”


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