“Climate change is happening fast and you can’t just stand around to see what will happen, you have to act,” said Tadhg, a 10-year-old student at Monkstown Educate Together National School (METNS) in Ireland.
Tadhg and his fellow classmates did just that.
After reading Katherine Rundell’s novel The Explorer about a group of children that venture into the Amazon Rainforest, class 4B at METNS grew very interested in protecting the region. This newfound passion prompted their teacher to educate them about the critical role rainforests play in the health of our planet and the increasing threat of deforestation.
The kids knew they needed to act. Katherine Rundell herself even offered them words of encouragement, and they were inspired to raise money and help save the rainforests. The students decided to embark on a ‘Rainforest Challenge’ and collectively run, walk and cycle the distance from their school to the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil––over 4,349 miles.
Over the course of two months, each student logged the distance they covered in a group challenge app that allowed them to track their progress as they moved across the map. They also started a GoFundMe page to regularly update their supporters, by the end of the challenge more than $4,234 was raised.
“The whole effort was really impressive––their Rainforest Challenge was long, but the students managed to keep the pace and persevere even on the most wintry days,” said Jenny, a class parent. “They were out in all weather and just kept at it because they wanted to make a difference. I think the future of the planet will be safe in their hands!”
Because their mission aligned perfectly with Rainforest Trust’s, the class voted to donate half the funds to our Conservation Action Fund so their money would go directly to vulnerable rainforests that need it most. The other half was given to an Irish forestry charity.
Young students like these are critical to the future of our planet, Rainforest Trust is honored to have been a part of their conservation journey.
‘We have to protect the forest––all the forests,” said Jake, an METNS student. “Without them we don’t have any oxygen, and we need oxygen for us and animals to survive.”