Anna from the Tula, Russia, Exotarium sent me a note and these photos of a Year of the Frog eco-relay race involving students and designed to raise awareness of the amphibian crisis. It was held April 25. Seven schools joined the fun to express their support of efforts to avert the mass extinction. Said Anna:


“The pupils invented names and mottos for their teams, painted bright emblems with a picture of a frog, and some of them even devoted poems to frogs. The most amazing and original was the emblem of the team “Qua-ki” of the school № 71 – a joyful frog made of paper. Merry tasks were waiting for the participants of the relay-race. Special relay-race frogs were made for the competitions. The children were supposed to ‘save’ frogs from the contaminated environment and to release them into a ‘clean body of water.’ As a first stage the children were offered to find a relay-race frog in the ‘dustbin’ among everyday dust. Now, to be able to carry the saved amphibians to the safe body of water, the participants had to demonstrate their ability to jump as a frog. The children had to jump lengthwise, over a skipping-rope. The fastest frog team, which was first to save a frog, was team “frogling” of school № 28.


“Children not only competed in the physical exercises, but also demonstrated their knowledge in an intellectual competition among the team captains, each referred to as “An Expert of Frogs”. All the participants demonstrated good results. The team of the school № 71 was especially good — the captain of this team (Dmitry Sidorov) answered to a maximum number of questions during one minute – on 15 questions, he did not make a single mistake! The winners and participants received diplomas, presents, badges of the 2008 – THE YEAR OF THE FROG campaign, and visited Exotarium free of charge.