Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Earth Week: A little of this. A little of that. A Lot Going On!

Earth Week is upon us. On Saturday the week's events will start flying at us faster than we can keep up. There are events for the little ones, events for the bigger ones and even events for everyone!  The schedule can be found on the Panther News, on the Sustainable ISKL website and around our campuses!  If you take a moment to peruse it you might find something that looks interesting. 

Truthfully I have very little to do with it apart from organizing it into a rather complicated-looking schedule. Interested students, the HS Earth Club, the Green Council and various classes have combined to make this week one filled with opportunity, awareness of the Earth and a celebration of nature!  It's the kind of week that is impressive in that so much is done to ensure that our students, teachers and community have a chance to engage, even a little bit, in something related to nature.

Of particular note are the many opportunities offered on Sunday, April 21, aptly named Outdoor Day. The waterfall hike for ES families led by Lisa Nazim, the Rock Climbing for Everyone! at Batu Caves (if you're interested in signing up, click here) and the KDE Loop clean up are great opportunities for community members to get out and interact with nature, for fun, for service, for appreciation.  The Rockin' 4 the Reefs event that same night, though not an ISKL event, will feature a number of nature-inspired artworks done by our MS students. If you have a chance to head to Publika Mall (Mont Kiara) on Sunday night please consider doing so. Of course Sunday also marks the departure of our Malaysia Week groups who will spend the entire week outdoors. 

On Monday we will be hosting two university professors of environmental education who will represent the Eco-Schools program as we vie for the coveted Green Flag award. We are hopeful that the results will be positive, though we recognize that we are new to the whole Eco-Schools program and learning is part of the process. Our efforts will be represented by our two new Environmental co-coordinators, Deanna Anuar and Tunku Alysha. It's a bit of a 'baptism by fire' in their second week in the post but they are confident. So am I.

Elementary School students will be exposed to nature, environmental and sustainability issues largely through their classes. There are a number of curriculum-based connections that teachers are proudly sharing with me and the sheer number of ideas has been impressive. There are also some school-wide events including the Uniform Swap, allowing students the chance to either hand in outgrown (but in good condition) uniforms, or alternatively to hand in an outgrown one for someone else's larger sized one. The swap, organized by Grade 5BW, will take place on Thursday as students get off the buses.  Our grade 2 will be doing a show called Celebration Speak of Who We Are, which will include an environmental element as well. It promises to be a great event!

The other event that I'd like to note is the ISKL Earth Hour. Taking place on Tuesday (April 23rd) between 8:00 and 9:00 am, this is a mini-version of the world-wide initiative to turn off electric devises in hopes of reducing energy, but more so in hope of increasing awareness as to the need for minimizing resource use. At both Ampang and Melawati we will be inviting teachers and staff to turn off lights and A/C. Won't you consider joining us from home?  It's early. It's cool(er) and it's usually sunny. Think about it. :-)

Finally, at the HS there are a number of events, largely organized by either individual students (or pairs) or the HS Earth Club. Events to note (and participate in) include Tuesday's can crushing competition (during lunch), Wednesday's showing of "Finding Nemo" (including free popcorn) or planting of the Malaysian Plants Garden (funded by a generous grant from the BOH Foundation and WWF) after school, and Friday's Rockin' 4 the Reef mini-concert featuring a number of our school bands. There is also a week-long lucky draw opportunity, offered by the HS Earth Club, for those who "like" our page. 

If there's nothing that interests you on the schedule, that's okay too. You can still participate, of course. A dinner table conversation will do. Or a moment to watch the sunset. Perhaps a visit to the beach. or a conversation about sustainable choices. In truth, Earth Week is simply a way to focus on what we could be doing daily, and often are. Enjoy the week, whether you are able to make it to an ISKL event of not. Happy Earth Week everyone!

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