Saving Species: Far From Impawsible for These Fourth Graders
After students in Jana Castañares’ fourth-grade class learned about the struggle of polar bears to survive global warming, they decided to do a special project to raise money for endangered animals. The Center is honored to have been named the beneficiary of their project, as Castañares and her class — at St. James School in Los Angeles — recognized our effectiveness at saving species.
The class’s project combined two things the fourth graders all loved: endangered species and cookies. The students baked an astounding 1,500 cookies for their Wolf-It-Down Bakery, which offered varieties such as “polar tip chocolate chip” and “powdered snowball” as well as a booklet of conservation tips (like making less trash and using less energy) and highlighting imperiled animals like ribbon seals, woodland caribou, polar bears and Arctic foxes. On bake-sale day, even before they opened the doors of their playhouse-sized bakery — which they constructed themselves — the students had already earned $200 for the Center. Each child was able to use his or her special skills or interests — writing, selling, baking, organizing, research and more — to make the project a smashing success. “Nothing is impawsible when we all help!” was the bakery’s motto.
“There was great interest from the school community,” said Castañares. “The booklet they made was beautiful and generated many conversations about the Arctic and endangered animals there. The cookies were a huge hit, too, of course. We sold every single one! . . . Some children are excited to do more, I know.”
“I care about endangered species because the world needs lots of animals and if we don't care about them, it'll be a boring world,” said student William Richter, whose favorite animals are koalas, pikas and rhinos. Fighting global warming and saving the Arctic were a big part of the project because, as Abigail Park declared, global warming “hurts many people, animals and plants.” Another focus was recycling because, as Delana Lewis put it, “the earth is becoming a big trash ball.”
“I know that many of [the students] know a lot more about environmental issues now than they did before,” aid Castañares, “and I believe a seed has been planted in several of them.”
Want to share your story in our Activist Spotlight?
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