Seventh Grade Class In Illinois Selected As Winner Of Inaugural Disney’s Planet Challenge Middle School Environmental Competition

Burbank, Calif. and Creal Springs, Illinois —April 19, 2011 — Disney today announced Mrs. Fran Wachter’s seventh grade class at Creal Springs School in Creal Springs, Illinois as the national middle school grand prize winner in Disney’s Planet Challenge, an environmental and science competition for 3rd-8th grade classrooms. The competition expanded this year to include middle school grades 6-8.

Disney’s Planet Challenge is the in-school program for Disney’s Friends For Change, a multi-platform initiative which focuses on inspiring kids and families around the world to help the planet and their communities.

The winning entry, “Wetland Warriors—Restoring Health to Our Wetlands,” focused on a unique wetland in the local community that was extensively damaged by development and draining projects. The student-led project included restoring disturbed areas, presenting research at a university science symposium and reaching out to the community with an awareness campaign.

Disney will celebrate the academic accomplishments of Mrs. Wachter’s seventh-grade students with an in-school celebration.

Disney’s Planet Challenge enrollment for the 2011/2012 school year is open now at

About Disney’s Planet Challenge

Disney’s Planet Challenge is a free, project-based environmental program that empowers students to make a difference in school, at home and in their local communities. With more than 15 years experience running highly-acclaimed classroom environmental competitions in regional markets including California and Florida (as “Disney’s Environmentality Challenge™”), Disney developed the new Disney’s Planet Challenge in response to growing demand across all 50 states. Program collaborations with the National Science Teachers Association, the WestEd K-12 Alliance, the U.S. and California Environmental Protection Agencies, the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife and the California Department of Education are designed to ensure academic and environmental excellence. For more information, please visit

About Disney’s Friends For Change

Disney’s Friends For Change is a multi-platform initiative that helps inspire kids and families to join together and make a positive impact on their world (and the people and animals that live there). Through on-air PSAs and online tool-kits, the program aims to provide useful information to help kids make small changes that add up to big differences. As part of the program, Disney donates $1 million dollars annually to fund projects all around the globe and has funded over 41 projects that help the planet, ranging from educational and community programs to species and habitat protection. Friends For Change currently has over 3 million actions taking place from kids in 33 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Japan, India, and China. For more information, please visit