Anna and Alex confidently stood in front of a classroom full of rowdy elementary age kids. As newly-minted, pseudo polar bear ambassadors, they presented a homemade movie at their school and spoke to seven different grade levels-from preschool to 6th grade. Nine and eleven respectively, Anna and Alex were presenting to their peers and kids as young as six. They fielded questions about polar bear behavior, habitat and climate change–weighty subjects that they had the chance to learn first-hand while traveling with their parents to see polar bears in Churchill, Canada.
“When children present to other kids, I think it sparks the kids to connect to the content in a much different way,” explained their mother, Dass. The incredible learning experience that children gain through travel is not lost on her, “if the kids are going to miss school, we require them to put something together for their class and teachers.
This idea was definitely a family effort.” Supportive teachers were able to spawn weeks of learning and curriculum from this inspired presentation. Inspired by other families fundraising on return from their trip, they also put together a conservation-focused yard sale which raised over $300. All proceeds were put to adopting a polar bear through WWF.
“I was swelling with gratitude for all the people who helped and donated. It was an amazing feeling. We hope people understood the message,” said Dass.
A once-shy Anna stood a lot taller after the trip. Her teacher noticed a difference in her personality after she presented in class, noting her confidence and openness to speak up, “the kids felt like they had learned important facts and were conveying something important to others.”