Oak Forest ES named ‘Rainforest Hero’ for protecting Sumatran wildlife

The island of Sumatra may be half a world away, but that didn’t stop Oak Forest Elementary School students from caring about its wildlife.

Children in the school’s kindergarten classes raised more than $2,170 before school let out last year and donated it to the Rainforest Trust after learning how man’s activities can threaten the natural world. And for that, the organization named the campus a “Rainforest Hero.”

“Our rainforest project began through a habitat study,” explained teacher Tiffany Janish. “We read several books on different habitats, and students began to brainstorm ways to help save the world. Our general class discussions led to a great passion for rainforest animals, and after researching various campaigns, I came across the Rainforest Trust.”

The funds will be used to protect the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem in central Sumatra, which is home to many endangered species, including tigers, elephants, and orangutans.

“Your support will help to ensure the future of these forests and their magnificent wildlife,” wrote Chief Operating Officer Malissa Cadwallader in a letter to the school dated Aug. 14. “Because of a matching gift challenge, the impact of this donation will be doubled, enabling the total protection of 636 acres.”