After raising over 163,470 pennies to contribute $1,634.70 for Audubon’s Pennies for the Planet campaign, nearly 900 elementary and middle school students and teachers in the school district of Hermitage, Pennsylvania were recently treated to an Audubon BioBash event.
Hermitage raised more money than any other school in the nation this year, earning the students and staff an assembly of environmental fun and learning before the end of the school year. Billy B, “The Natural Science Song and Dance Man” as well as musician, puppeteer, and Aullwood Audubon naturalist Chris Rowlands joined TogetherGreen staff (Elizabeth Sorrell, Zach Slavin and Jennifer Coleman) to lead the school in an engaging performance and a round of eco trivia.
Pennies for the Planet is a powerful tool for motivating kids of all ages to learn about and become engaged in protecting biodiversity. Kids not only learn more about conservation, but also directly help protect it by raising funds and conducting environmental projects in their own communities. By teaching young people about threatened ecosystems and wildlife, Pennies for the Planet strives to connect young people and families with the environment and provide ideas about how they can help protect it.
Over $75,000 has been raised through Pennies for the Planet in the past three years. Funds contributed during the 2010-2011 school year will be divided equally among three Audubon conservation projects that protect migrating wildlife and the habitats they depend on, including Monarch butterflies in Arizona, migrating birds in Nebraska, and coastal habitat in Mississippi.
“It is vital that we give children everywhere the chance to get involved in conservation—and to see how their actions can really make a difference to conserve our wild species and spaces ,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Pennies for the Planet links environmental education with environmental action, which we hope starts young people on a lifelong journey toward environmental stewardship.”
Over the last decade, in conjunction with several other environmental organizations, Pennies for the Planet has helped tens of thousands of young people nationwide raise thousands of dollars to support species and habitat conservation. Pennies for the Planet is made possible by support from TogetherGreen, an Audubon initiative – in alliance with Toyota.
Pennies for the Planet change collected through August 2011 will continue to support this year’s projects. Starting this fall, Pennies for the Planet funds raised by kids will protect wildlife like the beef-bellied hummingbird that call Sabal Palm Forest in Texas home, threatened loggerhead turtles at North Carolina’s Barrier Islands, and polar bears and other arctic wildlife in Alaska. Educational materials, including a full color poster and educators guide, a newsletter for kids, and a participation form with incentives and awards are available for download from www.penniesfortheplanet.org for classroom or at-home use.