Kids to Help Decide How to Give $1 Million
ARLINGTON, Va., December 9, 2009 — At a time when global news is being dominated by environmental issues, even kids are being asked to do their part.
Between December 11 and 21, visitors to Club Penguin (http://www.clubpenguin.com), one of the largest and fastest-growing online virtual worlds for kids, can help decide how much of a CDN $1,000,000 donation made by the organization will go to engage kids in local conservation efforts around the world. Rare (http://www.rareconservation.org), a rapidly growing Arlington, Virginia-based non-profit, is one of five charitable organizations selected to benefit from Club Penguin's annual Coins for Change drive.
Coins for Change allows the children who play Club Penguin to donate the virtual coins they earn playing games on the site to causes that matter to them. The amount donated to Rare will be determined in part by the number of votes cast towards protecting the environment during the ten-day online event. In 2008, more than 2.5 million participants cast 3 billion votes in Coins for Change. Voting in Coins for Change is free and requires only that visitors create a penguin avatar at http://www.clubpenguin.com.
Kids and Conservation
Rare trains local conservation leaders from more than 50 countries to run two-year outreach campaigns that give communities the tools and motivation needed to save the world's most endangered species and habitats.
While a Pride campaign in a coastal village in Mexico may teach fishermen more environmentally friendly techniques to help ensure sustainable livelihoods, it focuses equally on the community's future leaders -- the kids -- educating them on the value of their natural surroundings. Pride campaign mascots, based on a local charismatic animal species, visit schools to make learning fun and provide a lasting impression of the species and habitats that make their communities unique in the eyes of the world. Millions of kids in over 50 countries have benefited from Pride campaigns, which include environmentally focused classroom activities and new curriculum materials, mascot visits, songs, coloring books, games, festivals, demonstration gardens, field trips, and more.
Rare CEO Brett Jenks commented, "In addition to making me extremely popular with my young daughter who loves Club Penguin, this donation will provide critical support to local community leaders and families in some of the world's poorest areas of the rural developing tropics. These areas are rich in biodiversity -- housing more than half of all forests, reefs, waterways, fish stocks, medicinal plants, and fascinating ecosystems and species that define our planet Earth. The developing tropics even play a role in climate change. Deforestation contributes to about 20% of global carbon emissions, so we can't solve the climate crisis without empowering youth in forest-rich areas to become environmentally conscious leaders with the skills and desire to ignite and sustain change. We are delighted to be able to do so with the help of Club Penguin and its players."