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As well as working to deliver earthquake preparedness presentations to community groups and universities, I will be working with the Impacto afterschool program in Boyle Heights, southern LA.
I am really looking forward to it! This is a great opportunity to set this up as Green Schools' first international link with America! The teachers at Impacto are really keen to be part of Green Schools - as they are just starting their own garden, and are looking to get more involved in environmental work.
I'll be teaching guitar lessons too, so the Green Schools song is going international! ;)
Also very exciting, is the launch of Indi Wanders - a film and media venture created by myself and a fellow UCL grad. Our short films are on the theme of 'our world, and our place in it' - so this covers natural hazard preparedness (for LA, earthquakes, as California is "earthquake country"!), and environmental topics.
...so there'll be Green Schools and environmental films coming soon...
Stay tuned for updates!
This is Green Schools' first year in London - and I'm happy to say that Green Schools UCL has been very successful.
We have been working with Argyle Primary School, delivering environmental workshops to Year 4 classes, and then working with Years 1 and 3 in the school's organic garden, planting vegetables and teaching them about the important environmental context of growing our own food! (food miles, transport and pollution, biodiversity, healthy eating...).
So that's essentially what Green Schools UCL has been about this year.
What have we achieved in the community and wider world?
Well, the Year 4 classes were really enthused to take action in reducing their water and energy use at home and at school, and to reduce, reuse, recycle!
Building on their knowledge of other countries' environmental problems (many of the children are originally from Bangladesh and Somalia), they were very keen to learn more about the global energy problems we face, and at the end of the workshop series, the winning class teams (from the Energy quiz) got to choose which Oxfam Unwrapped gift they wanted to invest in. The two groups chose to sponsor a water collection system for a family in Africa and developing an allotment for a family in Honduras.
A little different from the typical class prize! They were very happy about their prize being able to benefit someone in another of the world.
...fulfilling an important role of Green Schools' work, in encouraging young people to be environmentally responsible global citizens!
What did I enjoy about this project?
Well this has been my second year running Green Schools, the first year was founding and launching it at Durham University last year. Launching it in London has certainly been a challenging experience! There's been so many good things that have come out of running this project. I've worked with two other great Project Leaders this year, who have brought many new ideas and skills, developing new workshops which have really inspired and enthused the children we've worked with.
The children have been really inspiring for us too! That's the great thing about working with children, is that they have so much energy and creativity, lots of ideas about how to make our lives more sustainable. They especially like being outside working in the garden - it's great to see children so eager to grow their own vegetables and learn about gardening.
Even in the centre of London, our schools offer wonderful garden areas, 'outdoor classrooms' - often the school just needs a helping hand with having a few volunteers who can take classes to work outside. They enjoy it, we enjoy it, so it's a win-win situation, and in a small way it is helping the environment.
That's why we are keen to develop Green Schools UCL this coming year, working with more schools, and more children, so that all these small actions add up to make bigger positive change!
....so I'm very much looking forward to seeing GS grow this year.
Thankyou to the Project Leaders and Volunteers who have worked with Green Schools UCL this year, and I look forward to welcoming our new volunteers for this coming year.