Throughout this year, we have had the pleasure of connecting with a second grade class at an international school in Singapore. From email discussions to Skype calls, it’s been an absolute pleasure to share our experiences with these students and to watch as they too grow passionate about the problem with unsustainable palm oil. Lead by their teacher, Mr. Gorman, they’ve learned about the issues affecting the rain forests of Southeast Asia and have taken action to affect change.
Mr. Gorman writes,
“During our second grade 'Sharing the Planet' unit, my students and I discovered the cause of the smoke that was drifting into Singapore this past February. We decided to take action by educating the entire grade level by holding an assembly that was based on our findings about palm oil and its negative effects to the global environment and the animals and people of Indonesia. My students created posters, flyers, newsletters and educated their friends and families outside of school. They even wrote to Cargill and integrated their new knowledge into all subjects, including Math!
My students are now in third grade and continue to see the overwhelming amount of consumption of products that contain palm oil. Thanks to Rhiannon and Madi my students have been inspired to continue our class mission as they enter a new school year. I am proud to say one of my students and his family decided to go to Borneo over the summer break to witness the massive amount of destruction that has been done to the rainforest. They were shocked to see the many hectares of palm oil plantations that have been planted over the once lush peat lands of the rainforest.”
This group of energetic, creative and articulate advocates is a moving reminder of the power that we all have, regardless of age or background, to make a difference in the world. Mr Gorman summed it up best saying,“ You just never know what could grow inside a child's mind, once you plant the seed of inspiration.”