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YOUTH PROGRAM’S STAFF TRAINING TEACHERS IN THREE OF THE LARGEST PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS IN THE UNITED STATES
Arlington, Va.–Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian program for young people from preschool through university, has launched an environmental service-learning curriculum, which it is rolling out through a series of teacher trainings in three of the largest public school systems in the United States—New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. In addition, Roots & Shoots staff will be on site at the National Service Learning Conference (Booth #206) in Atlanta, Ga., from April 6-9, 2011, to present the curriculum to attendees.
Created in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, the new Roots & Shoots service-learning curriculum helps teachers integrate genuine community needs and service into everyday classroom instruction. The goals of the service-learning curriculum are: to make it easier for educators to incorporate project-based learning techniques into existing lesson plans; enhance students’ retention of academic content; and to help students develop a sense of empowerment by giving back to their communities. By bringing together best practices from the Jane Goodall Institute’s community-centered conservation approach with the latest service-learning techniques, the curriculum also reinforces environmental literacy and fosters civic responsibility in participating students.
“We are incredibly excited about introducing our new service-learning curriculum in schools across the country,” said Erin Viera-Orr, Roots & Shoots program manager and service-learning specialist in California.
“Training teachers with this new resource will make a dramatic difference in the lives of students and have a measurable impact on their communities. In the past, teachers had to find creative ways to include service learning in the classroom, but our new curriculum is aligned with educational standards, and simplifies the integration of service into lesson plans and academic goals.”
The process begins when teachers and students work together to identify needs in their communities. Looking holistically at the range of issues facing people, animals and the environment, they develop a classroom campaign that uses academic and life skills to address issues that concern them. The service projects are then incorporated into the classroom curriculum. The curriculum also engages students as participants and leaders while emphasizing the value of education. For students, the curriculum answers the “Why” in “Why are we learning this?”
“In our current educational climate, the integration of real-life issues into classroom lessons is of critical importance,” said Maureen P. Smith, president of the Jane Goodall Institute.
“We need to focus on training young people about local and global issues and how they can solve them. With this new curriculum we are enhancing the existing educational system, and helping young people understand the ways they can effect change in their communities and the world.”
This comprehensive service-learning resource includes nine different curricula addressing elementary, middle and high school students, as well as extension activities for gifted students and modifications for those with special needs. Available at no cost to educators online, the curriculum and associated resources can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org/janegoodall. For more information about Roots & Shoots and service learning, please visit http://www.rootsandshoots.org/campaigns/servicelearning.
The launch of the new service-learning curriculum comes at an exciting time for Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. February 2011 marked Roots & Shoots’ 20th anniversary. Twenty years ago, Dr. Jane Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students started what has become an international movement of young people dedicated to creating a better world. Today in more than 120 countries, hundreds of thousands of Roots & Shoots members work together on youth-led service projects to improve communities and to make the world better for people, animals and the environment we all share. For more information on the 20th anniversary of Roots & Shoots, please visit www.rootsandshoots.org/campaigns/20thanniversary.
About the Jane Goodall Institute
Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior—research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program, which has groups in more than 120 countries. For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.org.
About Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots
Founded in 1991 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students, the Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With hundreds of thousands of young people in more than 120 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world. Young people identify problems in their communities and take action. Through service projects, youth-led campaigns and an interactive website, Roots & Shoots members are making a difference across the globe. For more information, please visit www.rootsandshoots.org.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, extends Pearson’s commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.