The process of educating Fayette Progressive preschool students about the importance of rain forests has been anything but boring.
Preschool teacher Erin Elliott and her teacher's assistant Kristen Whitmer, are using unique and creative methods to teach the students about some of Earth's greatest biological treasures and their true value. The morning and afternoon classes started by decorating the classroom in their best attempt at recreating the look of a rain forest.
"We had the kids do something called the rain forest walk where they walked up and down the hallway...and the parents would pledge a small amount of money for how many laps they would do," said Whitmer. "Per lap, they would pledge about 10 cents or a dollar...something like that."
As is stands currently, the pledges total approximately $550 and those funds are to the Adopt an Acre of Rain Forest program, which goes to small conservation groups in tropical countries that work to stop rain forest destruction. Donations support the purchase and sustainable management of rain forests.
Each class not only adopted one acre of rain forest in El Salvador, but each class adopted an orangutan as well. The students named one of the orangutans "Lear" and the other "Mr. Bernie." Trees for each class were also adopted through the program.
The kids were able to choose the acres of rain forest, trees and orangutans they adopted.
"They'll send us pictures and information to keep track of the growth of the orangutans," said Whitmer. "Some of them are just babies. At first the kids thought we were actually getting an orangutan at the school, but we had to explain that they're still going to be in the rain forest. We're just helping feed them and things like that. But the kids are very excited."
Not only are the kids excited by the project but they have been extremely eager to learn more about rain forests. The preschoolers are particularly interested in the animals that live in the rain forest, such as the snakes and jaguars.
"I'm beyond impressed by the response to this activity," said Elliott. "I was not expecting this type of donation to the walk either. The response was so much more than we expected. It's been great for the students and they're really understanding it very well for preschoolers."
Teresa Borden, the early childhood director, agreed.
"I'm very proud of the kids for their dedication to this activity and their understanding of it," said Borden. "And the staff continues to amaze me with their creativity. They truly believe that these little guys can learn just about anything and that's just awesome."
Fayette Progressive School serves infant/toddler and preschool children who are at risk environmentally and developmentally.
Story credit and photo Here