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Jun 30, 1999

Forest Department introduces school campaign

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As part of the Forest Department’s new push to get more involved with the public and educating people about conservation they have developed a new program for Belize’s children. They are using music, presented by kids to kids, and they have created a character whose carnival-like sparkle is sure to bring excitement to any classroom discussion about natural resources. Arreini Palacio reports.”

The launching of the Conservation Division’s Educational Awareness Program got off to a melodious start this morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The program, which is being funded by the Ministry of Natural Resources, includes a poster, a song “Have to have a habitat” performed by the National Youth Choir… and, well, a dancing frog. Freddy the red eye amphibian is the program’s official mascot and he’s sure to get the children’s attention. This morning he did more than shimmy a few steps, he even talked.

“Freddy the Frog”

“The thing is the frogs are very flexible and they can dance. I am the master of the dancing move.”

Earl Codd, Conservation Officer, Min. of Natural Resources

“Freddy is the red eye tree frog. Why we came up with the idea is because she is out in the forest and we wanted to depict one of the species out in the forest and let children know what the species out in the forest and their importance.”

“Freddy the Frog”

“We are trying to teach the students that we all need the forest, the frog, the animals and even the trees to make a beautiful Belize.”

The children believe they are doing their part to make Belize beautiful through their songs.

Kendra Buller, Grace Primary School

“I think both songs are good. It is very important to us. It tells us about the homes of animals and what we should not do that would affect the homes.”

Austin Jones, Grace Primary School

“It teaches you about the animals and where they live and if you cut down the trees and destroy the rainforest it will destroy their homes.”

Q: “What do you like most about the song?”

Austin Jones

“The story it tells.”

Earl Codd

“At the end of the program we intend to have all kids become junior forest guards with the objective of having them protect the forest also.”

The program will be extended to primary schools countrywide for the next year. Arreini Palacio for News Five.

Freddy the mascot’s costume was designed and sewn by Belmopan Primary School teacher, Therese Diego. If you would like to reserve Freddy’s dancing and educational services for your school, call the Conservation Division at the Ministry of Natural Resources.

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