Steamboat Springs Recent studies of the world's rainforests have enthused second-graders at Soda Creek Elementary to help preserve the natural habitats and land in Central or South America through a bake sale.
At City Market from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today, students will stand outside selling pies, cookies, candies and other sweets in an effort to help adopt at least one acre of rainforest land for $35 an acre.
Georgianne Merritt, second-grade teacher at Soda Creek, said the school has adopted more than 35 acres in the past six years she's been a part of The Nature Conservancy's program.
"The rainforest situation is a doom and gloom thing," Merritt said. "This allows kids to adopt and protect the flora and fauna of a chosen forest."
When the students collect the money and give it to The Nature Conservancy, they receive a certificate telling them how many acres were purchased.
Learning about the planet, biodiversity and animal and plant life can be complex issues for 7- and 8-year-olds, but Merritt said when you paint them a picture of what's happening in the rainforests, they begin to get very interested, especially in the animals.
"It's a perfect unit for second-graders," Merritt said of their subject of study. "They're leaping out of that ethnocentric idea. They're becoming aware of global plights and they want to do something."
After watching videos, singing songs, acting out dramas, constructing 3-D bulletin boards and creating a sealed terrarium, the four second-grade classes at Soda Creek now want to do something to preserve the land for which they have personal attachment.
Merritt said she thinks studying the rainforests and their ecosystems is the most exciting unit in the social studies and science subject areas.
Merritt's and Sue Barnes' classes chose to pursue the bake sale fund-raiser, but Kerry Murphy's class chose to do an aluminum can drive, while Carol Fritz's class chose to collect donations from parents.