Posted by on June 19, 2014

Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport) partners with Lili Winkleman and her fourth-grade classmates at State Street Intermediate to promote the incomparable wood frog.

Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport) is seeking support from his Assembly colleagues to pass legislation that would designate the wood frog as New York State’s official amphibian. The bill has already passed in the Senate.

Finch noted the critical role that State Street Intermediate School fourth graders have assumed by raising awareness about the unique amphibian, especially nine-year-old Lili Winkleman, a frog enthusiast who has spearheaded their advocacy and savvy media campaign. Finch was also quick to praise their teacher, Irene Manna, for her commitment to this innovative, interdisciplinary project.

“Those who dismiss this legislation as trivial are missing the point here. The presence of this bill in our legislature is a testament to the singularity of our democracy. Its journey from the imagination of a nine-year-old girl to the halls of one of the world’s most powerful legislatures is remarkable,” said Finch.

“Passing this legislation would also be a sign of support for the innovative, industrious teachers that education reformers on both sides of the aisle want for our children.

“Ms. Manna’s plan to help her students make the wood frog New York State’s official amphibian has displayed a comprehensive versatility. Students learned about governmental procedures. They shored up their writing by composing persuasive letters to state representatives. And, of course, the children received a lively biology lesson when they learned all about the wood frog and its intriguing array of characteristics,” said Finch.

The wood frog has the unique ability to freeze itself and completely reanimate. It is a defense mechanism against New York’s harsh winters. The wood frog can also sustain remarkably high levels of glucose.

These unique characteristics have piqued the interest of researchers. Biologists are excited at the prospect of applying the wood frog’s freezing technique to donated organs before transplant. Additionally, diabetes researchers are intrigued by their incredibly high blood sugar levels.


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