SWFL mom overcomes obstacles to share ‘Sharks in the Oceans’ with children

It’s Shark Week, and one Charlotte County mom wants to help your children love learning about marine life and inspire them to believe in their future.

Katharine Baumgartner says she discovered her love for the ocean and animals at a young age but was also struggling with a learning disability as a child.

“When I was a kid, I struggled with reading and writing. It’s just been a lifelong struggle, but I never looked at it as a situation where I wasn’t going to be able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.”

Baumgartner followed her passion to the Bahamas to study fish ecology, then to Australia for an environmental management program, then to the Marine Science Institute where she worked for five years.

“I think a good message is you have to work hard in order to overcome challenges,” she said.

Now, her greatest passion is helping others learn, so she launched Ocean Family Games to educate children in a fun way, but her latest achievement is a major milestone for Baumgartner: she wrote and published a book in partnership with OCEARCH called “Sharks in the Ocean.” She’s already started reading it to elementary school classrooms in our area, over Zoom due to COVID-19.

“I’m looking to read to other schools,” Baumgartner said. “If everyone were to take their gift and use it to positively impact humankind, imagine what a world we would live in. That’s one message that pushes me.”

Baumgartner says she’d be happy to read to more classrooms, and elementary students in our area, and can be contacted at [email protected]

Every “Shark in the Ocean” book sale also donates ten percent of proceeds back to OCEARCH. The book is now available at

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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