By Steve Grant
The Pratt twins, Bryce and Bretton, eight, second graders at the East Farms Elementary School, were learning how to conduct research.
In a unit focused on ecology, they learned that pollution can take its toll on plants, animals, even entire ecosystems. Global warming can charge weather patterns, rainfall, winds, temperatures. “They got to understand places in peril like like the African desert,” their mother, Marisa Pratt, relates. With rainfall reduced and trees parched, species like giraffes that munch on leaves are stressed.
The twins realized that if people didn’t help, giraffes could become extinct over time. They decided to host a fund-raising event in Devonwood to help giraffes.
The twins hosted the fund-raiser at the corner of Chatsworth Place, where they live, and Cambridge Crossing. The twins also have an older sibling, Stratton, 12. Dad’s name is Tim.
With the help of their au pair, Linda Yanez, the girls baked brownies, chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes all week long for a bake sale fundraiser that took place on a Saturday afternoon in January with a temperature of 28 degrees.
To prepare, the girls researched on-line about giraffes and their habitat, studied the issues affecting giraffes. They made posters and graphics. They made clay models of giraffes.
The twins have a big Beanie Boo, a stuffed giraffe they call Safari. “It just kind of became their inspiration when they were drawing animals or playing with clay,” Marisa Pratt says.
Mom, by the way, was not the inspiration for the fund-raiser.
“This was all their idea,” Marisa said. “They did this all on their own.”
“They have been holding bake sales and lemonade stands for a while now and always have a cause to donate money they collect,” Pratt says.
Even their second-grade teacher, Mrs. Meagan Palmer, showed up, along with one of their good friends, Katie Kowulchuk, who helped.
The key thing was their research preparation. When neighbors stopped and made a donation, the twins explained the issues facing giraffes. It worked. On that chilly day, they made just shy of $200.
Through the National Wildlife Federation, the twins donated $200 to feed and care for a giraffe for a year. The girls have decided to name their giraffe “Spots.”
“They have now helped with the care of at least one giraffe in the world,” Marisa said. “They are making sure he has enough food, water and leaves.”
If you or someone you know is “Making a Difference” and you would like to share the story with your Devonwood neighbors please email firstname.lastname@example.org