Once upon a time, there was a plucky school in South Carolina that wondered how its students could help protect the Arctic. The question traveled far and wide, until finally it landed at Alaska Wilderness League…and we had a very enthusiastic answer. By becoming “Arctic Experts”!
And now, at Monarch Elementary School, seven kindergarten classes have accepted the challenge: complete a three-week program to learn all about the Arctic and the amazing animals that call it home.
Why do we need arctic experts? While the Arctic is a wonderfully unique habitat full of perfectly adapted plants and animals, far too many people know far too little about it. What’s worse is that the Arctic is feeling the most severe impacts from climate change – it’s warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet – and it’s in the crosshairs of big oil companies. We believe that educating as many people as possible about this amazing place increases the chances that we’ll be able to protect it for future generations. And that means more opportunities to teach the next generation of Arctic experts!
For the next three weeks, the kindergartners at Monarch Elementary will research the Arctic, build life-sized papier-mache replicas of arctic animals, and create an arctic habitat for the entire school to visit. What makes these kids extra special? These arctic experts are going above and beyond, planning to share their project and their interest in the Arctic and why it’s so important with the media and local officials. Stay tuned to see how these kids are coming along over the next few weeks.
Thanks for accepting the challenge, Monarch! And if you’re interested in learning more about ways to get your kids or classroom involved in preserving and celebrating Alaska’s lands and waters, check out our Educators Network at: http://www.alaskawild.org/what-we-do/educator-network/.
(Photo: In a South Carolina classroom, a paper mache walrus takes shape…)