Reynoldsburg News

Fourth-grader making difference for cause, one person at a time

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Lorrie Cecil/ThisWeekNEWS
Fourth-grader Raejeanae Martin dances during a Friendship Ball at Rose Hill Elementary School on March 22. She came up with the idea to sell friendship bracelets and hold the dance as ways to raise money to help save the rainforest. The projects and contributions brought in $700.
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A Reynoldsburg fourth-grader is learning that one person can make a difference.

Raejeanae Martin said she was doing online research and came upon the Cool Earth website when she looked up rainforest.

"They talked about the rainforest being cut down, and I felt mad and confused," she said.

"So I talked to my teacher and wrote a letter to the principal and said I wanted to make a difference."

Teacher Amy Rodenmayer said Raejeanae talked to members of the PTO and asked them to help purchase 1,000 "friendship bracelets" for $31 that could be sold at lunchtime and recess.

"She wanted to raise awareness about the dance we were going to have and the need to help the rainforest," Rodenmayer said. "Several of our classes researched and learned about the rainforest and we hung fact posters around the gymnasium.

"Students created animal pictures, vines and plants to add to the decor of the gymnasium for the dance," she said.

The sale of the bracelets, donations and the purchase of refreshments at the March 22 dance raised $700 for the cause.

The dance and fundraiser helped students learn that taking a global view of giving can be important, Rodenmayer said.

"I like that this project has real-world learning," she said. "Students learned how powerful their ideas can be and that anyone can make a difference in the world."

The Cool Earth website, coolearth.org, includes stories about students, organizations and individuals all over the world raising money to invest in projects that help prevent acres of rainforest from being cut down in places such as Brazil or Peru. The website states that the Amazon rainforest provides 20 percent of the world's fresh water as well as a fifth of the world's oxygen.

"I'm hoping to get more of Reynoldsburg involved in saving the rainforest," Raejeanae said. "I don't think enough people in the city care about stuff like that and I think we all need to care."

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