Over winter break, Valley View 8th Grade Social Studies and French Immersion teacher, Irmgard Farah visited Costa Rica. While there, she took a trip to the the Children's Eternal Rainforest in Monteverde. While there, she learned of the "Friends of the Rainforest" project and how classrooms around the world had donated to help with land purchase, land protection, educational programs and guided travel opportunities.
On her way home, Irmgard wondered if her students would be interested participating in a fundraising project for the rainforest. She thought it would also be a great opportunity to incorporate service learning strategies for her students, and thought it would also tie nicely to her curriculum if she could make a connection with another French speaking classroom. She contacted me, and I helped her get Skype set up and tested on her computer and we developed a plan to put the project in motion.
Wendy Brenes, the Information and Ecotourism Coordinator for the Rainforest offered to Skype with the students to show them what they would be raising funds for. Given that we were in the same time zone, Brenes was able to talk to each of Farah's classes.
|Student's in Irmgard Farah's French Immersion Social Studies class speaking with Swiss Educator, Denise Brockman|
In the end, students in Farah's classes raised $1,322.64 for the rain forest!
Farah believes that the the collaborative aspect played a big role in the success of the project. I see this as a great authentic learning opportunity for her students, and an example of meeting the mission of our district, helping our students "to thrive in a rapidly changing, culturally diverse, global society."