This past Saturday marked the first student-organized Roots & Shoots Earth Day Event hosted by BSB Shunyi. The event celebrated the work of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots organization on its 20th anniversary in China. Today also marks World Earth Day, an event celebrated by nearly 200 countries across the world to raise awareness of environmental issues.
R&S student groups from both international and local schools in Beijing participated in Saturday’s Earth Day event. Participating schools included YCIS, BCIS, ISB (although ISB was unable to attend), and BSB. The focus of the day was action through activities designed to reflect the core values of R&S: the environment, animals, and the community.
The day started with a presentation from Lei Chen Wong, the executive director of R&S. She spoke about the organization’s mission and highlighted some of its achievements to date. The students then took part in a scavenger hunt and watched “Mythbusters” presentation about sharks by SinoScuba founder Steven Schwankert, who invited R&S students to join him for scuba diving in the future.
As well as introducing the school groups to each other, the event also provided a platform for to exchange ideas for future fundraising activities. The commitment and passion of the students was clear throughout the day. This event also acted as a bridge between international and local schools.
R&S works with over 600 schools across China and is one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, currently active in 132 countries. Dr. Jane Goodall started the R&S program in 1991 to educate young people about the environment, animals, and the community. In 2013, 350 student-led projects were started in Northern China alone, reaching 250,000 people in their own schools and communities.
From organic growing, which teaches children about food sources, to the clear water project, animal welfare education, and environmental education for migrant kids, R&S’ vision is a greener and more sustainable future.
Jane Goodall, who celebrates her 80th birthday this year, will be visiting Beijing in November for the Roots & Shoots Summit. This year, it will be Goodall herself presenting the achievement awards to students for their environmental projects.
To learn more about Roots & Shoots and how you can get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 6778 3115/5802/2757. Click here for their website.
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photo courtesy of R&S