Students from the Millennia Elementary School‘s EcoClub fed SeaWorld manatees during a sleepover at the theme park.

The fourth and fifth graders grew and harvested more than 1,000 heads of lettuce from their school’s hydroponics garden. After learning about SeaWorld’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation program, the students decided to donate the lettuce from their garden to the manatees.

In February, more than 1,000 heads of lettuce were harvested by the students and donated to the park. As a thank you for their hard work, the students received a sleepover from SeaWorld last week and the chance to meet and feed the 23 manatees they have been helping.

For many, it was the first time seeing a real manatee.

A manatee’s primary source of food is sea grass but during rehab at SeaWorld they eat lettuce. Manatees eat between two to four cases of lettuce daily.

SeaWorld rescues between 20-30 manatees each year in Florida.