tbabkarin

Five globe-trotting stuffed rhinos have contributed to one of the highest honours for a Table View teacher.
But for Elkanah House senior primary’s head of digital learning, Karen Stadler, the award she is about to receive in America is secondary to what the Travelling Rhino Project is all about.
Stuffed rhinos Lilitha, Lesedi, Siyanda, Zintle and Makulu ultimately create awareness surrounding the plight of one of South Africa’s Big Five.
Along with a journal, each of the rhinos travel around the world to school children eagerly anticipating the stuffed animal’s arrival.
Children write in the journal about their adventures with the rhino and then mail the rhino and journal to the next school, sometimes located on another continent.
Unfortunately one of the five rhinos (Zindzi) disappeared on a bus in Hong Kong.
Zintle was chosen as a replacement and, as a result, was sent to Singapore. She has since returned to South Africa.
Each rhino carries a message of hope and cooperation.
Thanks to Stadler, children from all over the world are now aware of the rhino’s plight.
Such a grand project deserves grand recognition, and that is exactly what the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) did by honouring Stadler.
The teacher is the winner of the SIGOL (ISTE’s online learning special interest group) Online Learning Award and she will be flying to Atlanta in July to accept it.
“I am blown away… I’ve been a teacher for 25 years and this is it,” said a delighted Karen.
“ I was a regular teacher up until 2007, but from the next year I’ve been working in the IT department and working with integration, and that’s where my passion really started.”
Karen belongs to the Global Classroom Project, a group of international teachers who promote global connections and projects.
“I realised from using those connections I could create a flat-standing type of project with the rhinos,” she said.
Stadler first heard the rhino’s plight when she went on holiday to the Kruger National Park in July 2012.
“I took a photograph of five rhino drinking water and then became interested in poaching statistics. It haunted me. I thought of the possibility of those five rhinos still being alive. It’s practically zero by now… I wondered what I could do and joined the Rooting for Rhino School Route Challenge, and it got me thinking about what else I could do. I didn’t have money to throw at it, but I needed to make a difference.”
That’s when she launched her Travelling Rhino Project via the Global Classroom Project.
The rhinos spread the word of their plight on a global scale and create awareness among tomorrow’s leaders.
The messages in the journal are heartfelt and insightful.
According to Stadler she would love more South African schools to become part of the project, so if anyone wants to read more about it or follow the adventures of the five rhinos they can go to https://saveourrhinos.wikispaces.com/HOME, or go to Twitter (@travellingrhino) or Facebook (Travelling Rhinos Project).
***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***

 

Advertisements