The Bara Rainforest Adventure

Bara's Rainforest Adventure Program will connect children in US classrooms with their peers in remote rainforest communities around the globe, the first being in Peru.

Named for a rainforest capybara, the Bara Program is designed to be a culturally enriching, educational and entertaining experience for children around the world. Developed by the Soul of a Child Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit in San Francisco, Bara's first effort will engage US school children in a sharing exchange with children living in the remote Peruvian rainforest. Using today's modern technology, Bara will link local students, ages 7-12, with Peruvian students using a live, interactive satellite connection called 'telepresence', so that they may learn about each other's communities first hand. Through art, music and play these connections will allow participants to share and find out how much they have in common. Real kids ­ Real time.

The Bara Program builds on the long relationship Shaman Pharmaceuticals has nurtured with indigenous communities around the world. Through its work in the field, Shaman has engaged tribal healers to share their botanical knowledge in an effort to promote greater understanding of potential plant derivatives. Always, Shaman has reciprocated to these communities in many ways. To contribute to the sustainable future of each community through an educational program for children, is an important objective of Bara.

The Program consists of the live satellite downlink experience and a classroom Module Package. A multidisciplinary curriculum aligned with US National and State Education standards and created by a team of international educators will be provided to participating teachers. Lesson plan titles include; Introduction to Cultural Enrichment, Rainforest Animals, Multicultural Musical Marvels, Rainforests are Everywhere, Multicultural Exchange and Interaction, Ethnobotanical Expedition, Rainforest Artistic Visions and Respect in Action! Additionally, the Module Package will contain several videos, books, maps, CD-ROMs and craft materials. Participants in Peru will get a Spanish version.

This Module Package will provide teachers with appropriate materials to enhance the cultural learning process and serve as a catalyst for greater awareness and appreciation for other cultures and communities. The participating classrooms will also get a computer, digital camera and CD-ROM writer. With software and instruction, students will be encouraged to create CDs, which can be mailed to their "Digital PenPals" in other schools throughout the year, building on the relationships established during the live satellite broadcast event.