All the students - Ada Elementary School, Kunigami Village, Okinawa
Here in Ada, the Okinawa Rail – is a bird in danger of disappearing– and its habitat too. To save our hometown's precious Okinawa Rail, the student body at Ada Elementary School have been taking part in activities to produce food for the birds.
We worked hard to make this food for them! We are even reading books on how to raise earthworms.
Each student makes their own special box to raise earthworms all year long. The worms are food for the Okinawa Rail living in shelters. Every week about 100 earthworms are sent to the Okinawa Rail Rescue Center.
We also put our newspaper the "Okinawa Rail Newspaper" posted in the Okinawa Rail Protection Shelter and other facilities.
We started the “Okinawa Rail Newspaper”, to tell many different people about this endangered bird We have collected information through research and talking with people at the shelters about the current state of the Okinawa Rail's protection, the number of incidents involving them and what kind of food the birds eat.
In Ada you can always hear the song of the Okinawa Rail. We hear it all the time, and we know the difference between the song of the Okinawa Rail and other birds.
In February we participated in the "Playback Survey" conducted by the Ministry of the Environment. We played the Okinawa Rail's song from loud speakers at the Community Center and the Okinawa Rails in the wild responded to the call. Then the sounds were recorded and we counted the number of Okinawa Rails in the wild.
Through researching and food-making for these birds, we have come to feel proud of our town of Ada, as the "Home of the Okinawa Rail". With the help of other people in this region, we would like to continue to protect the Okinawa Rail and their environment.
In 2005 Ada Elementary School was designated as an Environmental Education Model School. In conjunction with this we began our activities for publicity and protection of the Okinawa Rail. Fortunately, here in Ada we have the Okinawa Rail Rescue Center and Okinawa Rail Protection Shelter, and there are many unique resources that the students can only encounter in this area. With the cooperation of others in the region, through their experience with the Okinawa Rail, students have been able to think about and learn about the environment in Ada and Kunigami Village as a whole. Though in the past the children may not have had chances to pay close attention to the land around them, through these activities they have gained an increased concern for the environment and an awareness of the need to protect of endangered species.