What could third graders at an elementary school in downtown Brooklyn do to help prevent deforestation, an international crisis taking place far from their urban streets?  At a school dedicated to fostering active citizens through service learning, the answer is A LOT. 

After conducting several weeks of research about the causes and consequences of clearing forests, this third grade class decided to organize an awareness-raising campaign about the devastating impact of deforestation, and share strategies for how their community can help slow its current rate.

The students completed multiple projects of varying intensity. First, for Arbor Day, the students created and distributed flyers with tips for how to protect trees as well as an “advertisement” for their Public Service Announcement (PSA).  While passing around the flyers, the students answered questions from classmates and parents and encouraged their community to get involved.

Next, they released a PSA (click on the link above to view) based on the research they had collected and analyzed.  Viewers are informed of the importance of rain forests, the causes of deforestation, and its dangerous impact.  The PSA concludes with several tips for how people living in any community can help reduce the demand for trees and advocate for more responsible clearing of forests.

At the end of the project, the class broke into smaller groups and visited each classroom in their school to provide oral presentations of what they had learned.