[image-1]The production company behind “Chasing Coral,” a Netflix documentary about coral bleaching, will be visiting Charleston County classrooms throughout the week in an effort to link the worldwide phenomenon to Charleston’s owns coastline.

Cast member and self-proclaimed “coral nerd” Zack Rago will join seven schools for screenings: Baptist Hill High School, Daniel Jenkins Academy, James Island Charter High School, R. B. Stall High School, St. Johns High School, Wando High School, and West Ashley High School.

A follow-up to director Jeff Orlowski’s “Chasing Ice,” the 2017 documentary got its start at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award. The vibrantly-tinted deep-dive into the world’s oceans offers a crash course on how greenhouse gases and rising ocean temperatures are killing coral, which in turn threatens the subsistence of everything from sting rays to small fish.

School of the Arts also has a tentative screening planned for next week, according to Exposure Labs regional campaigns manager Savannah Miller.

Miller has a history with Charleston County schools. She studied creative writing at the School of the Arts.

“When the team emphasized an interest in engaging the Southeast for our impact, I reached out to my youngest sister, a junior at Wando High School,” Miller said in an e-mail. “She teamed up with her AP Environmental Sciences teacher to host a screening, and the event piqued the interest of Rodney Moore at CCSD. And since, we’ve developed a district-wide program that combines the film screening with longer term community projects.”

After the screenings, students will work with community leaders to address environmental issues plaguing the Lowcountry.

“Chasing Coral provides an engaging launchpad for problem-based learning in the classroom, in that our students can make a local connection to a worldwide problem, coral bleaching,” said CCSD science curriculum specialist Rodney Moore in a statement.

“It’s a dream come true for me, really,” Miller said.