Supporter Spotlight: PS32

Marett Carey

Feb 1, 2017


Students in Queens Host Carnival to Save Tropical Habitat.

  • Students in Queens create carnival games to protect rainforest acres. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hamlin.

When Lisa Hamlin’s third grade class at PS32 in Queens, New York, was studying Brazil and the Amazon Rainforest, they were compelled to take action. Lisa was thrilled with her students’ enthusiasm.

“It grew last year out of our social studies and persuasive writing units,” Lisa said as she described how the project came into being. “This year, my class decided to host a carnival to benefit the rainforest. I invited my prior year’s class to help because I knew the cause is important to them, as well.”

This is the second year in a row that Lisa’s students have banded together to raise funds and awareness for rainforest conservation.

Many teachers and school administrators may wonder how Lisa found time to make this happen. She insisted that it was not an overly difficult project since her students were simultaneously completing requirements and applying what they learned toward a real-world situation.

“It made the lessons they studied meaningful for them, and their engagement was through the roof as they took ownership of the project,” Lisa said.

  • Environmentally friendly carnival games used to fundraise for tropical habitat protection. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hamlin.

This included ensuring that all of the carnival games, decorations and advertisements were environmentally friendly. As an example, the classes collected cardboard boxes throughout the year and constructed a variety of games featuring their favorite rainforest animals.

After researching a number of organizations they would like to support, Lisa’s classes wanted to work with Rainforest Trust.

“My students last year liked the idea that they would be participating in the purchase of actual acres, thereby directly protecting the land itself. This year’s class felt the same way,” Lisa explained.

This year, her class chose to support the expansion of El Dorado Nature Reserve in Colombia, which safeguards thousands of acres of cloud forest. The region’s mountain range boasts the greatest concentration of endemic birds in the world and is a refuge to more than 600 bird species.

Toward supporting conservation, Lisa’s students had some great advice:

“Come up with fun ways to raise money so that everyone will be encouraged to throw in a dollar.” – Jocelyn

“Research and understand why the Amazon Rainforest is important, and use environmentally friendly materials.” – Magdalene

“Every penny counts in saving another animal!” – Cloé

Rainforest Trust is grateful for the support received from Lisa’s students and proud of this passionate group of young conservationists.