North Mianus Students organize walk for CHAMPS

North Mianus School fifth grade students, Perry Baltimore, president and executive director of The Marshall Legacy Institute, and Rachel McCastland, CHAMPS assistant.

North Mianus School fifth grade students, Perry Baltimore, president and executive director of The Marshall Legacy Institute, and Rachel McCastland, CHAMPS assistant.

Fifth grade students from North Mianus Elementary in Greenwich organized a dog walk on March 30 at Greenwich Point, to raise money and awareness for the CHAMPS organization.

CHAMPS, otherwise known as  The Children Against Mines Program, is a student-led program of The Marshall Legacy Institute, a non-profit, international organization. The program’s mission is to protect people in mine-affected countries by training detection dogs to sniff out land mines for safe removal.

Land mines are an extremely dangerous threat. One thousand people are involved in land mine accidents every month, claiming roughly one victim every 40 minutes. Most victims are killed.

This is the third consecutive year that North Mianus students have organized a dog walk to raise money for CHAMPS. Students were motivated to help CHAMPS after reading articles during a reading unit about innocent children who were injured or even killed due to landmines. Their fund-raising work over the past two years has resulted in the funding of Hawk, a mine-detection dog currently serving in Iraq.

The cost of acquiring, training, and delivering a certified mine detection dog to a contaminated country is approximately $20,000.

This year, North Mianus teamed up with The International School at Dundee to host the walk. Community members were encouraged to attend the walk and stroll around the two- mile trail learning facts about land mines and mine detection dogs.

To help support CHAMPS, checks made out to the Marshall Legacy Institute or cash may be delivered to North Mianus School.

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