WWF-Philippines: We Deliver for Kids!
Recognizing that kids throughout the world need access to materials and information about the environment, the World Wildlife Fund in the Philippines has Project LIFE (Learning Inter-dependently for the Environment) delivering environmental education to help kids and communities get the message. And in a country where conditions can be quite rough, with some schools barely accessible and others lacking the necessary equipment or teaching space, they've found that even pulling into schools and towns in their brightly colored van can cause quite a stir.
In essence, LIFE is a traveling exhibition, lecture and activity centre all rolled into one that tours coastal communities and major cities throughout the Philippines. It comes complete with multi-media equipment and educational materials like a scale model set of endangered species like the whale shark, bottlenose dolphin and green turtle. And kids of all ages get to take part in a wide range of activities, including sketching, creating origami, painting or sculpting clay animals, as well as listening to the sounds of a humpback whales singing and role playing. As Obel Resurrection, Environmental Education Officer at WWF-Philippines puts it, ""LIFE caters to all levels, from pre-school to college," and "A tour usually consists of interactive exhibits, videos, games and lectures around key environmental issues like coastal conservation, over-fishing, endangered species protection and climate change."
Intriguingly, I remember reaching out to the WWF-US not too long ago and asking if they had similar programs available to my students, and I recall the answer being "No". And while I grant you that teaching in the first world is a far cry from teaching in the third, I suspect that it wouldn't be too terrible to have such a program traveling in the US as well Why not? There's plenty of room for improvement in the area of green education, and I bet the resources that WWF has could really help make a difference, especially in underprivileged and inner-city schools where resources are often scarce and materials hard to come by. By focusing vans in major metropolitan areas they could help insure a high return on their investment by reaching the maximum number of students each year. And that might also, in fact, bear fruit economically for the WWF down the road as kids remember the programs they had as a child when they decide to part with some cash to help the process along