Help Us Help Schools in the Monarch Reserve!
Over the years this program has grown by leaps and bounds; as a result it has been suspended until such time that a more efficient and cost effective way to get donations to the schools within the Monarch Reserve is worked out. Stay tuned!
Adopt-A-Classroom is a program that Monarch Watch has initiated to provide educational materials and classroom supplies to the schools within the Monarch Reserve in Mexico. By helping these schools we can provide resources that were previously unavailable to these communities and we can show our concern and support for the conservation of the Oyamel fir forests and the Monarch butterflies that overwinter in this region.
Background and Rationale
We are concerned about the long-term maintenance of the Monarch overwintering regions in Mexico. The region is heavily populated and the fir and pine trees on which the Monarchs roost during the winter constitute a potential source of income. Although the forests are protected, it is clear that the economic and social conditions in the area pose a threat to the forests. Each year there are reports of illegal and legal logging that impinge on the overwintering sites. Conservation of the forests and the Monarchs is being discussed by the governments of Mexico, Canada and the United States. Additionally, nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) such as the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation (Karen Oberhauser, Karen.S.Oberhauserfirstname.lastname@example.org) and The La Cruz Habitat Protection Project (Bob Small, email@example.com) are raising funds to protect the forests and for reforestation.
At Monarch Watch we have promoted conservation through education within the United States and Canada. As an organization, we are now mature enough to reach out to Mexico. But how can we, as a small organization with limited fund-raising capability, maximize our community-wide impact? We now have a plan, which we call "Adopt-A-Classroom". If we are successful in implementing this plan, we should be able to reach most of the schools in the region. Although we are trying to collect funds for this program, you will see that there are a number of low cost ways in which you can contribute to this effort.
We have pledged to provide resources to the communities (ejidos) in the vicinity of the overwintering areas in Mexico. During a visit to the El Rosario ejido in November of 1997, we defined how Monarch Watch can help the ejidos. Our solution is to obtain instructional materials for the local schools.
The schools within the Monarch Reserve are simple cinder block buildings. The classrooms are small with high windows, many have poor lighting, some have no electricity and most rooms are crowded with crude and uncomfortable desks for the children. The teachers write lessons on worn-out blackboards. Basic textbooks are available, but workbooks, writing materials and even paper are scarce. Library resources and supplemental teaching aids, which have proven to be so effective in teaching the concepts of math and science, are almost totally lacking in these schools. This is where we can help. Working with innovative teachers, we have designed a basic math and science kit which contains instructional materials appropriate for the classrooms in Mexico. Each of these kits costs $100 and we need your help in raising funds to purchase materials for these educational kits.
Your group can help Adopt-A-Classroom with a monetary contribution. We will purchase the materials, assemble the kits and deliver them in the name of your group, or in the names of multiple contributors, to the schools and classrooms in Michoacan. We will also assemble and deliver - and in some cases purchase - classroom supplies, Spanish language story books, and reference materials for these schools.
In addition to monetary contributions, there are other ways in which you can help. The schools in Mexico need supplies. At many schools in the United States, excess materials - everything from paper clips to crayons and paper, etc. - are discarded at the end of the school year. Why not send them to us? We will have these materials sorted and sent to Mexico. We are also seeking used slide viewers, overhead projectors, and percussion instruments such as drums and tambourines.
We hope that you can assist us with this effort to help the schools in the Monarch Reserve. Please contact us if you have any questions.