Earth Day – 50th Anniversary

Written by: Melissa Shaw, Primary Coordinator

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Week was a great way for us to explore how all of us can be responsible for looking after our Earth. It was another way that we could reiterate with our students that no matter how young or old, we can all make a positive change in our world! This certainly aligns with our Mission at YCIS to be ‘Globally competent and compassionate leaders, who aspire to, and act for, a better world’.

To start the day, our Earth Day celebrations began with a bang with nearly 200 Lower Primary students joining us for our opening assembly. We had a range of activities for all of our students to participate in through our Zoom sessions and blog activities! We explored our Helping Hands values, being responsible citizens and our UN Sustainable Global Goals.

The theme ‘Climate Action’ can be a challenging concept to understand for our Primary students and therefore we explored ideas that were developmentally appropriate for them. We were visited by Secondary student Kevin Du, who is part of the group ‘Stop Single Use Shanghai’. This group has done a lot of work within out YCIS community to promote the idea of using reusable items such as chop sticks, straws, bags and cups. He encouraged the children to think of an everyday item or action that is not very good for the Earth and how we could change that to make it more environmentally friendly.

Our Art sessions focused on upcycling and reusing old items for a new purpose rather than throwing them away. This was a wonderful way to introduce our Earth Day Upcycling Competition. Ms Anita Dai, our Upper Primary Art Specialist shared, “Students were excited to invent something using only discarded materials. They showed creativity and flexibility with their ideas and techniques.  It will be exciting to see what innovative projects they come up with”.

The excitement didn’t stop there! The Environment Committee invited guest speaker d’Arcy Lunn, founder of the NGO Teaspoons of Change, to carry out a series of workshops around the crucial notion that we can all take small but significant steps that added together have a great impact on our planet. These Zoom sessions were fun and engaging. We explored different examples of ‘teaspoons of change’ with our younger students and talked about what their teaspoon of change could be. He used examples from his ‘tiny house’ of little changes he has made to look after the Earth. We also introduced our ‘Teaspoons of Change Picture Project’ and look forward to receiving entries this week!

We hope Earth Day was a way to inspire and motivate our students to become more aware of their actions and what they can do to look after our planet. We hope that it was an opportunity to bring about discussion as a family and talk about what actions the whole family can do as their part to make the world a better place.