One way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Day is to introduce children to social action for animals. For Zoobies, Zootles or Zoobooks readers an animal conservation cause can begin a habit of social responsibility that can help change the world!

For the youngest animal lovers, adopt-an-animal programs, offered at most zoos and many wildlife preservation organizations, bring conservation efforts to life. Helping a specific animal that a child likes, is an easy concept to convey and one that many kids will really enjoy. Visit the website of your favorite zoo to see if they have an adopt-an-animal program. The World Wildlife Fund also offers an extensive adopt-an-animal program.

For older animal advocates, social action opportunities explode! Just choose an animal and search the web for a preservation group that supports it. Among all the choices, we support the Audubon “Pennies for the Planet” campaign. Pennies for the Planet is a program that encourages kids to work together to make a difference. Asking kids to take community action seems particularly in keeping with the spirit of Dr. King. This year Pennies for the Planet is devoted to helping two animals and an ecosystem: monarch butterflies, sandhill cranes and the oil spill ravaged Gulf Coast.

To learn more go to www.penniesfortheplanet.org

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