By Catherine McIntyre
Charles P. Allen High School plans to implement a youth action program into its curriculum after a presentation at the Discovery Centre on Tuesday by world-renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall.
The program, Roots and Shoots is a network for people to share ideas and gain support for their environmental projects.
“I am hoping to apply the program to our sustainability unit,” says Tara Quinn, a teacher at Charles P. Allen High School, who learned of the program through Goodall’s presentation.
Tuesday’s presentation wrapped up Goodall’s 50th anniversary celebrations, with her first ever visit to the Maritimes.
In her presentation to over 60 high school students the 77 year-old told stories of the jungle and accomplishments of her Roots and Shoots youth action program.
“Running through it is the theme of living in peace and harmony”said Goodall. “Not only with each other, but also with the natural world.”
|Roots and Shoots|
|The Chronicle Herald|
|Jane’s Journey trailer|
Quinn says her class will take on Project Blue this Spring, a Roots and Shoots initiative that focuses on water conservation.
A grade four class at École St. Catherine’s School in Halifax did Project Blue in 2009. By putting bricks in the school’s toilets, they saved one litre of water per flush, earning them the Jane Goodall Institute’s award for the best water conservation project in North America that year.
Along with Project Blue, Quinn plans on starting an extracurricular group to take on various Roots and Shoots projects. She says since Goodall’s presentation, students are showing interest in the program. “They were really excited about the whole thing,” she says.
The coordinator and M.C. of the event, Steve Thurbide, hopes to see a youth council start up in Halifax to direct Roots and Shoots projects.
“The green initiative has been in the minds of a lot of teachers over the last few years,” says Thurbide. “I think Roots and Shoots is a very motivating factor for them.”
Bethany Dickey, a grade 11 student from Dartmouth High attended Goodall’s event. Dickey is active in the Sierra Club Buddies Program, an environmental project where high school students mentor students in grade six on sustainability and eco-system awareness.
Dickey says she’s looking to start up a Roots and Shoots group at her school.
“I know a lot of people who would be really enthusiastic about joining something that was created by someone that so many people admire,” she says.
Alec Simpson, Membership and Outreach Coordinator for Roots and Shoots says more Nova Scotians would get involved with the program if they knew about it.
“There is an underrepresentation of what we stand for here,” says Simpson. Students and teachers can get the resources they need for their projects by joining Roots and Shoots.
“The first stepping stone is educating and inspiring them. Then they can connect with other young people and take part in this world-wide movement.”
Watch Jane Goodall lead students in the greeting call of the wild chimpanzee: