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Students at PS 205 cause an uproar for the conservation of big cats

Bronx Times

Students of the Big Cats Sister School Program are causing an uproar.

Beginning in fall 2012, the program will pair students at PS 205 in Crotona Park and other U.S. schools with schools in Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana under the shared theme of big cat conservation.

Students in all four countries will learn why big cats are important to the ecosystem and how they each perceive big cats in their own countries, using photos, letters, essays, stories, virtual assemblies and other forms of digital media to connect.

The student groups will also interact with National Geographic conservationists and Nat Geo WILD television channel talent to raise awareness about the severe decline of the big cat population in the wild.

The U.S. students will create and conduct high-profile activities in their schools and communities to spread the word about the significance and scope of this crisis.

In the Bronx, PS 205 will be one of the U.S. schools participating.

“PS 205’s participation in the National Geographic Big Cats Sister School Program is a wonderful opportunity for our students to spread awareness about the decline of Big Cats in the wild,” said principal Carol Ann Rosado. “It is an enriching cultural learning experience for them.”

Big cats are victims of conflict with humans and habitat loss or degradation.

National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative is a long-term commitment to halt the decline of these iconic animals in the wild through on-the-ground conservation projects, education and a global public awareness campaign.

The Big Cats Sister School Program, launched by the National Geographic Society and Nat Geo WILD, provides teachers and students an ongoing opportunity to help save big cats throughout the school year as well as engage in a cultural exchange.

“This program will help connect children around the globe on the important topic of big cat conservation,” said Alexander Moen, National Geographic’s vice president, Explorer Programs. “We need future generations to recognize the importance of saving our planet’s predators so that 40 years from now they won’t look back on lions the way we now look back on dinosaurs.”

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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