A Way to Help the Animals
Six-year-old puts her passion to work
Anna Rose Rudy is a 6-year-old from Stoneham, Massachusetts, who loves animals. When she heard about the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and the millions of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, she wanted to do something to help the animals.
"I think it is very sad," she told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps about the oil spill.
Anna planned a nine-mile walk to raised money. Backed by donations from family, friends, and local businesses, the youngster conducted her walk at the largest Audubon Sanctuary in Massachusetts, the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. She raised a total of $1,462, which she donated to the National Wildlife Federation. The Federation has been helping the oil-covered animals in the Gulf of Mexico.
"My goal was to walk eight miles and to raise $1,000, but I got up to nine [miles], and raised more," she said. "My muscles were a little worn out. I don't ever remember walking that far."
Although young, Anna is far from ordinary and at just 6 years old, has done extraordinary things to help save animals. She is an exuberant animal lover and an avid bird watcher, with an enthusiastic grin that stretches from ear to ear.
As soon as she introduces herself, Anna immediately shares her vast knowledge of birds, including the many species she has seen and all sorts of interesting bird facts. Recently she built a birdhouse to hang on a tree in her yard so she could watch the birds from outside or from a large upstairs window in her house.
Whenever she can, Anna eagerly goes to the yard or the window and watches the wide variety of birds that visit her birdhouse with a pair of binoculars. She always makes sure her mother is ready to snap a photo with the camera.
"I really like red birds such as the Scarlet Tanager and Northwest Cardinal," she said, though when pressed for a favorite, she says she could never pick just one.
She also found it hard to pick a favorite animal.
"I like giraffes, elephants, and blue whales a lot," she said. She is not, however, a fan of snakes or sharks.
Anna's love for animals has led to her passion: to raise money to help endangered species so that they do not become extinct. Last fall, she made and sold bookmarks using animal pictures that included an urgent message to "Save the Animals."
The animal pictures were all taken by Anna's personal photographer (her mom). Each picture is of an animal that Anna has seen in person. Anna made and sold 408 bookmarks for a total of $550. She donated the money to the World Wildlife Fund.
Anna loves to learn and write about animals. She takes a zoo class and aquarium class. When asked what was the most interesting or unusual fact she learned in her classes, Anna explained something unusual from her aquarium class: she learned that Horseshoe Crabs have blue blood.
The first-grader created a blog where she writes about all the things she has learned, as well as her fundraising efforts. Although she no longer sells bookmarks, she still accepts donations through her website.
Anna also has a passion for music and dance. She takes drum lessons, and ballet and tap classes.
"I love to dance!" she said, showing off some of the moves from her latest recital.
Already thinking about the future, Anna thinks she might want to be a ballerina or zookeeper when she grows up.
You can check out Anna's website for more information about her efforts to help the animals.
GULF OIL SPILL RECOVERY SPECIAL REPORT
Kid Reporters investigate how the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is being cleaned up and how the spill has impacted the people, animals, and environment of the Gulf coast. Their reports -- along with other useful resources -- can be found in the Gulf Oil Spill Recovery Special Report.
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Chloe Conway is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.