Little boy, Bigheart
Five-year-old Brody Holmes pledges to save the polar bears
While many children are sitting in front of their computer screens or their game consoles, Brody Holmes of Shearstown, who just turned five years-of-age, has been reaching out to the community and his school to help the environment and try to save an endangered species.
Brody’s mom, Amanda Holmes, said his interest in helping animals and the ecosystem began after seeing a commercial on a popular youth television channel for “Earth Rangers.”
According to the website (www.earthrangers.org) the Earth Rangers, also known as the Kid’s Conservation Organization, is a not-for-profit group from Ontario that promotes environmental awareness and the sustainability of ecosystems.
After some research, and significant influence from Brody, Amanda agreed for him to sign up for the Earth Rangers project “bring back the wild.” It involves picking an endangered animal and fundraising through ecofriendly initiatives to help conserve their habitat.
Brody chose the polar bear because it was his favourite animal, he told The Compass recently.
His teacher at the Academy for Mathematics and English, Lori Boone, is one of his biggest supporters.
“When (Brody) came to school he told me all about polar bears, how he loved them and wanted to save them,” she exclaimed. “Because Earth Day was April 22, I decided we would incorporate an earth theme at school.”
For the entire month of April, Lori taught the children in Brody’s class about earth-friendly initiatives like riding their bikes and turning off the television when leaving a room.
Lori wanted to include the students in a way they would understand and get excited, so she found songs, crafts, stories and games that included the polar bear so it would be age appropriate for three- and fouryear-olds.
They also learned about the importance of recycling, which was a very important part of Brody’s fundraising campaign.
Amanda set up an account with the recycling depot in Bay Roberts and anyone who wanted to donate to his cause could drop off recyclables, and the money would go to the organization.
On April 23, the school hosted a “recycling blitz” for Brody where 12 students and three adults brought their own recyclables from home.
Amanda and her husband, Christopher, bought a cake shaped like a polar bear for the school to celebrate the occasion.
While Lori brought out the cake, the students were cheering, “Save the polar bears.”
Brody collected 17 full bags of recyclables at the school, surpassing his objective of 300 bottles and cans. Understanding the cause The school’s owner and operator, Karen Attwood, along with his teacher, said Brody has been a student at the academy since he was two, and they have seen him grow from a shy little boy into a passionate, understanding child.
Brody really does understand his initiative, and demonstrated it by telling his friends at school the reason why the polar bears are in trouble.
“Polar bears live on the ice. The ice is melting and they can’t stay,” he explained, mentioning they make their way into communities searching for food. “That can be dangerous.”
Amanda said she would continue to support him in his fundraising efforts as long as he is passionate about it, adding the hard work that has gone into it so far has paid off.
The money raised with a bingo event and a previous recycling drive has surpassed Brody’s $250 goal by almost $1,000.
Continuing Brody’s dream
Lori said the students in Brody’s class were very responsive to the saving the earth cause, and were very involved in all activities she planned, especially “polar bear day,” a day she created to support Brody’s endeavour where the kids dressed in white and made polar bear masks. The school hopes to grow the event. “I think we are going to continue with this each year, find out which animal is being sponsored, and continue it forward with the academy,” she suggested.
Fifty per cent of the funds raised goes towards protecting animal habitats across Canada and the other 50 per cent supports educational programs to teach more kids about the crisis facing wild animals and their depleting ecosystems.