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One Tree Planted Studio Challenge


Last November, with the winter blues setting in, I challenged my students to do some fundraising to support the non-profit One Tree Planted. For two months, students would find sponsors to back their practice sessions. The sponsor could be a family member, a neighbor, a friend. We weren't asking for much, just some petty change. All of the money the kids collected would be donated to One Tree Planted. For every dollar donated, one tree is planted in an area of the world that suffers from deforestation. Even better, we had an anonymous donor who agreed to match every dollar the kids earned!

I had lots of takers in this challenge. Students from my Baltimore studio and students from my Levine studio joined in. One student's siblings even participated!

Every child received a jar and over the next two months, they worked to gather change.

Why trees? Watch the video and then click this link to learn more.

In early February, we collected all the jars (except one... stay tuned) and met to sort and roll the change. It was hard work! It's essential to get just the right number of coins in the roll, so counting and filling the rolls had to be done carefully. We all guessed how much change the thought we had. Want to take a guess, too?

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When done rolling, we discovered that we had $200.00 exactly! Zavier had guessed that we'd have $200.00. Zavier, how did you know?!

When we were done, we celebrated with pizza from Peace A Pizza and watched Fantasia 2000. Here's a favorite clip of Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Later in the week, one last student handed in their money. That brought our total up to $240.00. When matched by our anonymous donor, that made a grand total of $480.00 and 480 trees planted!

We took a vote with the kids and decided to split up the money and donate this way (click links to learn more about each place):

200 trees - Haiti

180 trees - Indonesia

100 trees - Kenya

We picked Haiti because it has less than 2% of its tree cover remaining. Trees are essential there because they help protect from the damage caused hurricanes.

We picked Indonesia because deforestation due to the palm oil and pulp industries has lead to high rates of carbon emissions and poor air quality. Sadly, Indonesia's Sumatran Rainforest has only been given 20 years left to survive by scientists. Did you know that you can also fight against deforestation in Indonesia by boycotting products made with palm oil? It's in all sorts of products from food and candy to household cleaners. Look for it on labels when you're shopping. You can also encourage your friends and family to do the same.

We picked Kenya because it also has less than 2% of its tree cover remaining. Trees are important there because they store water, which is essential during the dry season. The water allows Kenyans to grow crops successfully which provides them with food and income.

What's a fundraising challenge without a massive check?

The funds have officially been donated; done over the internet. We received this certificate.

Above is the timeline for the evolution of a donation through One Tree Planted. We should be getting updates as the trees go through each step. I'll post the updates periodically.

All in all, I think this was a major success. I'm so proud of the kids who participated for their excellent global citizenship in raising the funds: Ainsley, Bertie, Ella, Grace, Hazel, Joshua, Maple, Philip (and sibs), and Zavier. Thanks also to the kids who helped roll the change: Ainsley, Grace, Joshua, Maple and Zavier.

Thank you to our anonymous donor and parents for their enthusiasm and support!

Together we've worked to be good stewards of our planet! As Mahatma Gandhi is attributed to saying, "You must be the change you want to see in this world." I think we did that. Let's keep it up!

#letsdosomegood #volunteerism #goodcitizenship

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© 2020 Catherine Mikelson