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Jacksonville Students Celebrate Earth Day with the Rainforest Alliance, St. Johns Riverkeeper and th

This Earth Day, good global citizenship is in the minds and hearts of all students at Jacksonville's R.V. Daniels and Susie Tolbert Elementary Schools. In collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, students are celebrating Earth Day today by taking action, creating art and learning about the role we all play in protecting our planet Earth.

"The Rainforest Alliance curricula and partnerships have helped Jacksonville students connect their own lives to local and global conservation issues," said Julianne Schrader, education program manager at the Rainforest Alliance. "By incorporating the curriculum into a variety of classes, the students are learning about the world while developing essential skills in math, science and reading. They now see how their actions can help conserve fragile environments at home and in far-away places."

Jacksonville students have teamed up with students from Guatemala's rainforest to create a jaguar-themed international art exhibit at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. As another aspect of the Rainforest Alliance initiative, St. Johns Riverkeeper is helping students from Susie Tolbert clean up Blue Cypress Park and help keep trash out of Jacksonville's precious river.

The student art exhibit will be on display this month in the Palm Plaza Cafe located in the Range of the Jaguar exhibit to raise awareness about protecting animal habitats among the Jacksonville community. The International Art Exhibit will also be part of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens' Earth Day Party with the Planet event on April 24-25th.

This art exhibition is part of school partnerships with Duval County School District and the Rainforest Alliance, an international non-profit organization. Thanks to the generous support of the Weaver Family Foundation, the Rainforest Alliance is collaborating with Susie Tolbert, R.V. Daniels, Discovery Montessori, St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to build environmental values among Jacksonville students. As an organization working to combat the world's environmental problems, the Rainforest Alliance believes in transforming values of the next generation of global citizens so that all people will be committed to work towards healthy and sustainable communities.

The art exhibit is part of Susie Tolbert and R.V. Daniels' month-long environmental unit during which teachers integrate the Rainforest Alliance's multidisciplinary curriculum with Florida State Standards to help connect their students to conservation. To take action to protect their local environment, St. Johns Riverkeeper is helping students from Susie Tolbert to clean up Blue Cypress Park and help keep trash out of Jacksonville's precious river. The recipient of the United States Green Building Council, North Florida Chapter, Innovation Award for Solving the Ultimate Challenge, Discovery Montessori School is a leader in helping the environment through education of its students in environmental stewardship. The Rainforest Alliance is grateful to tap into Discovery Montessori's environmental education expertise as we partner with their neighboring schools in Jacksonville.

R.V. Daniels Principal Kimberly Dennis said, "The impact this is having on the school, teachers and students is not only extraordinary, but it is opening up experiences that many students would never have. Our teachers are ensuring that students are learning about various countries and how to work together for a cleaner and safer planet."

Kimberly Harrison, principal of Susie Tolbert School, added, "The rainforest has sprouted at Susie E. Tolbert Elementary! As students learn more about the rainforest they also had the opportunity to create an art, writing, or science project. These amazing art displays are a vivid reminder of endangered species and raise awareness about the delicacy and balance of life."

The Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance's efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit

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