Recently, I was threatening to kill some snails in my front yard for eating all my flowers. My eleven-year-old exclaimed, “No mom! You can’t kill the snails!” As much as I don’t love those slimy little creatures eating my flowers, I was amazed at her loving nature, and her innate desire to help another creature stay alive. Needless to say, I didn’t kill the snails, either.
Kids have a unique way of honing in on nature and wildlife, and have a natural desire to protect creatures. How many times have your kids captured bugs and saved them in jars, or rescued an injured butterfly (or moth)? I know a friend whose kids recently rescued baby mice (shudder) and wanted to nurse them back to health.
Kids want to nurture, save, and love the creatures in their world. It’s almost instinctual to them. That’s why I love the initiative by the National Wildlife Federation to bring more awareness to saving Elephants, and to stop poaching with their #EveryElephant campaign.
They have created a contest to win a trip to Africa to meet a baby elephant named Naledi that was born into a rescue camp in the Botswana wilderness. Naledi’s mom was killed by poachers when Naledi was only one month old.
The National Wildlife Foundation, along with philanthropist Paul Allen, want kids ages 9-18 to come up with the next big idea to save the elephants. And, trust me, after learning more about Naledi, your kids will be all over figuring out how to save the elephants.
The contest is hosted by Paul Allen’s production company, Vulcan Productions, and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and it encourages students to learn, explore and dream big about how we can all protect wildlife and help save elephants together!
What I love so much about the contest is that it gives kids the opportunity to watch short video clips on African Elephants, and has engaging learning materials to help them with their contest submission. I think it would be awesome to get a whole class of kids involved in learning about why it’s so important to save the elephants. In fact, I’m going to see if I can get my daughter’s 6th grade teacher on board.
Each kid can join the contest by answering the question, “What is your best idea for how we can save the elephants?” They can submit their ideas very easily right on the website as text or a short video. And, it’s not about coming up with the most complex idea, either.
Like I said, kids naturally want to help other creatures. It’s in their blood. And, what better way to get your kids involved than by helping them learn about the important role that African elephants play in our ecosystem, and giving them an opportunity to think outside the box?
After all, these kids are our future, and I believe whole-heartedly that the way to help all endangered species, and our environment is to start with future generations of kids.
Paul Allen’s Great Elephant Census is a great place to start with your kids. The website offers more information about WHY elephants are so crucial to our ecosystem, more about baby Naledi, and facts and statistics about the lives of elephants in Africa.
But, entering the contest is as simple as coming up with an idea that will help protect these amazing creatures. I know my eleven-year-old is excited to come up with her own idea. The entry deadline is November 23, 2018, so make sure you hurry and enter! The grand prize winner will receive an all-expense paid trip for three – including themselves, their sponsoring adult and a friend or sibling – to Abu Camp in Botswana, where they will get to meet Naledi and learn from her caretakers. On this trip of a lifetime, the winner will learn all about African elephants, and be able to share that with other students back home.
Get your kids involved, learn more about the elephants and go here to enter!