The Year 6 class from Triple C (Creative Christian Character) School celebrated their success as the winners of the 2012 Disney’s Planet Challenge (DPC), the in-school edition of Disney Friends for Change, during a special awards ceremony held today onboard the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Fantasy. This year, more than 1,300 Cayman students in 69 classes took part in DPC, to make a positive difference for the planet by taking actions at home, in the classroom and in their community.

Led by teacher Sharmaine Campbell, the Year 6 students, equivalent to the fifth grade in the U.S., developed a Save the Wetlands project to preserve local areas by providing safe habitats for a number of wildlife species, including blue iguanas, endemic to the region, whistling ducks and upside-down jellyfish. The class partnered with the local Department of Environment to better understand threatened wetland areas in the Cayman Islands. The class also hosted public events to educate their community, developed plans to battle soil erosion across the islands and organized a 5K walk to raise awareness for the protection of these threatened areas.

“The difference these students are making here in the Cayman Islands is more than commendable,” said Shomari Scott, acting director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands. “The students’ hard work aligns with the Cayman Island Department of Tourism goals and we couldn’t be more proud of their dedication.”

A special awards ceremony commemorating their hard work was held onboard the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Fantasy, where Captain Marco Nogara welcomed the winning students.

“On behalf of all of my officers and crew, we are honored to recognize these young environmental heroes,” said Captain Marco. “All of us at Disney Cruise Line are passionate and dedicated to promoting positive environmental stewardship. To see these students take that extra step and show their personal initiative in their local community inspires us all.”

While onboard the Disney Fantasy, the students took part in a hands-on science-based activity and explored the ship’s public areas, taking part in interactive experiences utilizing new technology – all while learning more about Disney’s commitment to supporting conservation worldwide.

Earlier in April, two lucky students from the Year 6 class had the opportunity to attend a special two-day Disney’s Kids and Nature Celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The one-of-a-kind youth summit brought together outstanding youth from around the globe and featured educational experiences with leading conservationists, educators and designers working to find new ways to protect the planet.

Disney’s Planet Challenge
Created in 2003, Disney’s Planet Challenge is the result of a partnership between Disney Cruise Line and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. The two-part program encourages children to take an active part in pledging to protect the environment and problem solve environmental issues. The program is part of a global effort to inspire children for global good, which has engaged more than one million children worldwide.

The program was created by The Walt Disney Company in 1994 to inspire students to be good stewards of the environment and empower them to make a difference – at school, at home and in their local communities. It is among Disney’s most significant inspirational initiatives, with similar programs spanning every state in the U.S. and with Disney Cruise Line, the Caribbean.

Disney’s Planet Challenge is part of Disney’s Friends for Change, a multi-platform initiative that inspires kids and families around the world to help people, communities, and the planet.

Disney Cruise Line Environmental Programs
Disney Cruise Line is committed to promoting positive environmental stewardship through efforts focused on utilizing new technologies, increasing fuel efficiency, minimizing waste and promoting conservation worldwide. Each year, cast and crew members assist with separating and processing 1,200 tons of cans, bottles and other recyclables. Annual volunteer coastal cleanups remove additional thousands of pounds of garbage and debris from shorelines each year, while other company programs, like Disney’s Planet Challenge, promote waste minimization and global conservation efforts.