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Crane Projects at Lindbergh Schools
(Thank you, Laurie Johnston!)


"We were so pleased to be able to present a check to Operation Migration for $1,550 as our hope is that the Reintroduction Project will continue for years to come until population goals for the Eastern Flock are met!" May, 2007

Laurie Johnston, Gifted Education Specialist in St. Louis Missouri, shares:

Since 2001, the 3rd grade LEAP (Lindbergh Eager Achiever Program) students have been studying migration and seasonal timing. Our primary source of information is the Journey North web program, where our major focus is the Whooping Crane Reintroduction Project. In winter 2007 our 39 students were shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic loss of 17 of the original 18 cranes from the class of 2006. We had a huge class meeting to discuss the tragedy, and the students demanded that we do something, not just talk about how we felt, but actually do something to make a difference.

A Service Learning initiative was launched. The students brainstormed a list of ideas, and four Action Lab groups were born. One group focused on educating others about the cranes and produced a public service announcement DVD that they shared with their home schools to help spread the word. Two groups focused on fundraising, and the fourth group focused on things that could be made and ultimately sold to raise money. In a few weeks, the idea developed into a two-phase effort: one- a cook book compiled and illustrated by all of the students and it would include recipes for both humans and birds; and two- a birdhouse building clinic where families, friends, teachers and students would build birdhouses that would then go home with the students so they could focus on making a difference in their own backyard habitats.

As the projects began to take shape, the teaching staff identified three goals for the overall project:

1) To continue to help our students understand that being stewards of the earth means not just taking care of the environment for ourselves, but to do what we can to make sure that this glorious environment and all of its living systems will be here for generations to come.

2) To support and empower our young students as they realize that all people, young and old, can take action and make a difference, whether it is our own backyard habitats or reaching beyond to help an endangered species like the Whooping Crane.

3) To guide our students in developing as global thinkers who are capable of empathy.

Needless to say, both projects were a success, but the recipe book fundraiser brought everyone tremendous pleasure as the first printing of 300 copies was a sellout! Add to that donations from a few more sources, and our donation total came to $1,550! We were so pleased to be able to present a check to Operation Migration for $1,550 as our hope is that the Reintroduction Project will continue for years to come until population goals for the Eastern Flock are met! We applaud all who are an inspiration to the many young stewards of the earth who are just looking for someone to show them the way!

On behalf of my teaching team, our third grade students and me, thank you for helping bring important real-world issues to students everywhere.

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