|Ms. Harvey’s second grade class|
|Regency Park Elementary students|
|Students with Rainforest Trust Hero certificates|
May 27, 2014
A second grade class from Sacramento, CA, motivated their school to raise $1,368 to save acres of rainforest in Palawan and the Amazon.
Alarmed by the negative impacts of rainforest destruction around the world, the second graders in Rochelle Harvey’s class at Regency Park Elementary School in Sacramento, CA, decided to take action and raise funds to help Rainforest Trust in its mission to protect threatened rainforests and the species that call them home.
Harvey first learned of Rainforest Trust while searching the internet for websites where children could learn about the rainforest and was inspired by stories of classes raising money to help Rainforest Trust. “I saw the inspirational stories from other classes and decided that we could help as well,” she said. Harvey added that another deciding factor was that a majority of their donation to Rainforest Trust would go directly to the field.
“With our learning unit focused on the life cycle of frogs, I decided it would be beneficial for my kids to know more about the habitat where most frog species live: the rainforest,” said Harvey. “The more we learned, the more we knew we had to do something,” Harvey added.
The students set a fundraising goal of $1,000 to save at least 2,000 acres of rainforest. After some brainstorming, the students decided to raise money by selling used books, as nearly everyone in the class had books they were willing to sell. After doing so, they announced the sale to the rest of the school. “We have almost 900 students in our school, so that turned out to be a lot of books!” Harvey said.
They also held a “Money for Monkeys” classroom donation competition, in which all kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms competed for a pizza party, funded by the school’s Student Service Committee.
To help the students reach their goal, the school’s Parent Teacher Association helped host a “Save the Rainforest Movie Night / Art Show & Bake Sale” to sell rainforest animal art made by the students. Parents and teachers also contributed baked goods to sell during a screening of the movie “Rio.” The event was attended by about 300 people, making it a successful night.
Harvey’s students surpassed their goal by raising a total of $1,368.57. With this money, the students chose to save 784 acres of rainforest on the island of Palawan in the Philippines and 1,710 acres of the Amazon rainforest in Peru. Both of these regions are recognized as critically important hotspots for global biodiversity, providing habitat for species such as the Palawan Bearcat, the Jaguar, and many more.
Through their efforts, the students learned of the many reasons rainforests need protection. Renzo, a student in Harvey’s class, said, “I learned that the rainforest gives us clean air to breath, food, medicine, and fresh water.” Chloe, another student, added, “I learned that rainforests used to cover 16% of the land on Earth, and now it covers only about 6%. We need to start saving more of it so we have the things we need.”