T.U.R.T.L.E.S.(Turtles Under Recovery by Teachers Leading and Educating Students)

High School students fly to Costa Rica to work at the beaches where sea turtles nest each year.  Students help to watch over the mother sea turtles while they are laying there eggs to keep them safe from poachers and predators.  They also assist the baby hatchlings make their way to the sea and keep predators from eating them.  The Ostional Reserve located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica has the largest “arribada” of sea turtles in the world.  Thousands of mothers ascend onto the beach on these special nights just before the full moon and lay their eggs.  Our Students get to experience this fabulous phenomenon and help save an endangered species.  The Olive Ridley sea turtle is the species most common on the beach, yet a diminishing number of leatherbacks still utilize this area, too.  Students learn all aspects of sea turtle conservation and take part in this great Service Learning Project while also having the opportunity to visit local cultural venues like the coffee plantations, cart factory, and volcanoes.  In Arizona, CGCS has one of the largest desert tortoise habitats in the state. It houses desert tortoises, which have been rescued from roadways and other dangerous places.  Students in grades K-12 take part in learning activities at the school involving these beautiful endangered tortoises.  High school students take care of the habitat and enhance it each year with new plants and burrows.

Our TURTLES program is supported by our ECO-Earth Kids fundraising business run by students.  T-shirts, mugs, water bottles, and tote bags are sold by students to earn money to fund the sea turtle rescue expeditions and support the desert tortoise program in Arizona.  All shirts are designed and silk-screened by students.  This program teaches students entrepreneurial skills, creative design, graphic arts, and most of all leadership.  Another Service Learning project benefitting both students and endangered animals of the world!

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