Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shanghai Elementary Students Totally Grasp "Green"

I recently made a whirlwind trip to Shanghai, where I spoke at Ignite Shanghai ; attended reThink Shanghai (hosted by one of my favorite international entrepreneurs, Christine Lu ); hung out with Geeks on a Plane (see CNN international’s coverage - ;talked with one of the coolest eco-chicks ever,Leah Lamb , about sustainability in China (see the video thanks to What Gives ); saw the World Expo ; and best of all, got to spend an afternoon at YK Pao Elementary School in downtown Shanghai [See the pictures I took: ]

I spent several hours on campus talking with the principal, vice principal, numerous teachers and parent leaders. While the existing campus is a beautiful oasis of playgrounds and greenery amidst the heart of downtown Shanghai, there are plans in the works for a new campus built for optimal environmental performance. The new school will be a learning laboratory where children learn to live sustainably.
One of the things that impressed me most about the adults on campus was their firm commitment to being good role models of environmentally responsible behaviors to the kids. Environmental education isn’t just about curriculum, though they have developed some of the best I’ve seen, it’s about providing the children with examples of adults who conserve natural resources, coupled with frequent opportunities for the children to imitate what they see.

Clearly, the lessons are resonating with the children. In the videos you will see by visiting the YK Pao Student Work playlist on our YouTube Channel, note that even kids as young as first grade are able to explain water conservation and recycling principles like it’s second nature. [See the videos:]

The YK Pao school will be using the Go Green Planning Guide to further advance their goal of becoming the greenest school in China. Please join me in wishing the students, teachers, parents and administrators the best of luck on their “green” journey!


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