ROYAL OAK, Mich., March 11, 2014 – For the 16th year, the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is leading an expedition to the heart of the Peruvian rainforest to deliver school supplies to rural communities along the Amazon River.

From March 29 to April 7, 2014, DZS staff members and volunteers from Michigan and around the country will distribute materials purchased with donations to the Peru Adopt-A-School program.

The volunteers – who travel to Peru at their own expense – will work with DZS staff passing out books, paper and supplies to hundreds of students in remote villages, enabling them to attend school and achieve a basic education with a focus on conservation. Every school will also receive a simple water purification system to provide clean drinking water.

"It is part of our mission to provide outstanding and unique educational opportunities to thousands of children in the Metro Detroit area. The Adopt-A-School program helps children in an underserved part of the world receive the important tools they need to further their education," said DZS Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan.

A second conservation expedition from April 5 to 14, 2014, will build simple water purification systems to provide clean drinking water in an established Amazon community.

Donations for the Adopt-A-School program are accepted by the DZS on behalf of Conservacion de la Naturaleza Amazonica del Peru (CONAPAC). One hundred percent of every donation is used by CONAPAC to purchase school supplies in Iquitos, Peru, thus supporting the local economy, reducing purchasing costs and eliminating shipping costs.

During the 2012-13 school year, Peru Adopt-A-School donations provided more than 3,000 students and teachers with educational materials and training in 56 communities.

For more information or to make a donation to the Adopt-A-School program, contact DZS Curator of Education Claire Lannoye-Hall at clannoyehall@dzs.org or (248) 336-5803, or visit www.detroitzoo.org/adoptaschool.