Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sprouts of Hope: Jane Goodall Visits King Open

Celebrating Composting with Dr. Jane

By Eliza and Risa

This May, after a long, tiring Roots & Shoots-filled spring, the Sprouts of Hope participated in yet another exciting event with Dr. Jane Goodall -- an event that took place at our school!

Dr. Jane Goodall came to King Open, the Sprouts of Hope greeted her outside and showed her the murals the King Open community has painted. (You can see Risa with Dr. Jane in this photograph.) One of them is about immigrants who've come to Cambridge; the two other ones are at our school’s entrance. One is a replica of the Sistine Chapel, but with people from King Open painted on it, and the other shows Dr. Martin Luther King, with our school's name on it, too.

Then Dr. Jane went into the auditorium, where she greeted students with a pant hoot. Kids responded and it seemed like they were having a lot of fun.

She came to our school to congratulate us on a very successful year of composting. King Open’s composting program, which the Sprouts of Hope helped to start a little over a year ago, has saved more than 13,000 pounds of food waste that otherwise would’ve been dumped into a landfill!

Dr. Jane not only congratulated students at King Open for saving the planet, but she also came to our school to spread the word about composting. At the whole-school assembly where she spoke, she encouraged other schools to start composting – and since the mayor of Cambridge, the superintendent of schools, and some school committee members were at the assembly, we are hoping that her message (and ours!) will make a difference.

At the assembly, Dr. Jane spoke a little bit about her life, as well as the Jane Goodall Institute, Tacare, and Roots & Shoots. She encouraged students to get involved. Her message to us was that simple things – like composting our school lunches – make a difference. As she always says: “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference!”

Four students – ranging from kindergarden to fourth grade – demonstrated for Dr. Jane how composting works in our cafeteria. It was a fun to watch, even though the kids got in the wrong order and some compost went in the trash!

Our science teacher, Donna Peruzzi, led the Q & A with Jane Goodall. Microphones were passed through the crowd and kids asked questions such as “What do chimpanzees eat?"

It was really special to have Dr. Jane come to King Open. Here is what Anne Driscoll wrote about her visit to our school in

"The five girls who belong to Sprouts of Hope Roots & Shoots group had lobbied the Cambridge School Committee and the school superintendent to create a conservation plan and install special composting bins in the King Open School cafeteria. The group hopes to expand the program and replicate it at other schools.

In addition to the six and a half tons of garbage saved from a landfill, their composting program also prevented the release of additional methane gas, which becomes 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a green house gas. Besides, Goodall says it's the small efforts now that pay off big dividends later.

"You can't expect a child to suddenly become involved in everything," Goodall was quoted as telling the King Open students. "You have to start somewhere."

We gave Dr. Jane a King Open shirt. We hope she remembers her visit at our school as much as we remember having her with us that day. It meant so much to us that she took time from her busy schedule to come to King Open and congratulate us on our efforts to compost.


To read more about Dr. Jane's visit to our school, you can click on these links:

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