Educating children about animal conservation and endangered species is perhaps one of the most impactful things we can do, as it will inspire them to make changes in the future. Kashmir World Foundation (KwF) did exactly that with the production of a sea turtle activity book, which was distributed to a group of fifty-seven second graders at Colégio Marista Arquidiocesano, a Brazilian school. Produced by KwF interns, Mariana Ierardi and Ilona Lepshokova, the activity book features a historical timeline, a coloring activity featuring the seven different types of turtles, a map, a quiz with a certificate, and much more.
After spending roughly a year creating the activity book, it was dispersed to the school that Mariana graduated from in Brazil as a pilot school. Students worked on the activity book for five weeks during their afternoon bilingual class. Mariana reflected on the success and the impact the activity book had on the children, stating, “I felt that the activity book made a huge impact on the knowledge about sea turtles for the kids and that they were really more interested in marine life and how to help sea turtles and other marine life. I believe that it will have further consequences in their education because they were so impacted and developed more creative thinking.” Evidently, they were clearly able to grasp the urgency of the situation and have come to realize how important it is that we act to save marine life.
During the sixth week of working on the activity book, the students met in an auditorium to watch a presentation by Kashmir Pandolfi entitled “Anatomy of a Honeybee vs. a Drone.” The presentation, which covered the different parts that comprise a drone and a honeybee, along with how they both move and work, went smoothly. Mariana recounts that it was wonderful for the students to have the opportunity to see and interact with people from all over the world, and that despite the students being extra energetic that day, they were still impacted by the presentation. She was able to follow the presentation in-person with the students and mentioned that they “saw how possible it was to create a project like that. I would say it inspired them.” At the end of the presentation, Kashmir hosted a Question-and-Answer session, which allowed the students to practice speaking English and interact even further with the information they had just learned.
None of this would have been possible without the support of our interns at KwF as well as our collaborators at Colégio Marista Arquidiocesano, who helped in assessing the impact the activity book and workshop had on the students. We are grateful for the support from teachers and coordinators who applied the activity book for several weeks for the students and who were also present during Kashmir’s presentation.
At last, Mariana quotes: “We, as a team who aim on the conservation of endangered species through education, hope to expand the project and be able to change the lives of our next generations.”
All photographs courtesy of Mariana Ierardi.