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[SCMP Archive] Pupils' great green ideas

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2016, 5:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 August, 2016, 4:27pm

[First published on Mar 19, 1995] Young as they are, the second grade pupils of the Hong Kong International School showed grand ambition and enthusiasm in their plans to make the territory a cleaner and healthier place.

The 47 pupils from the school at the Repulse Bay campus combined their efforts and came up with a colourful and creative project on environmental protection.

The produced a two volume brightly-coloured story book filled with imaginative ideas and delightful illustrations on the topic “Let’s Clean Up Hong Kong” to compete for the Primary and Secondary Schools categories of the Green Project Awards Competition.

The competitions, co-organised by the Caltex Green Fund and the Sunday Morning Post since 1993, was designed to encourage the public to initiate and implement ideas to improve Hong Kong’s environment.

The cluster of grade two students, one of the youngest groups of contestants this year, was thrilled to take part in the competition when their teachers proposed the idea during their integrated language arts period.

The children assembled together and shared ideas concerning land and water pollution during a 45-minute brainstorming session. They then spent over an hour working in pairs and came up with vivid pictures and thoughtful captions dedicated to Hong Kong, the universe and the future.

“We were just about to start the ecology unit and we believed it [the project] would fit in perfectly,” said teachers Elizabeth Rabinovitsj and Jacqueline Ries-Wu.

The children, aged between seven and eight, not only showed their eager concern and high awareness on the global issue, but also revealed their creative imaginations.

“We made use of what we have learnt in the ecology lessons and added in a little bit of our ideas in the pictures and captions,” said seven-year-old Thomas Gethin-Jones.

Their ideas included developing individual green habits, such as using cloth bags and recycled paper; getting a famous star to raise funds for cleaning up the harbour; and even ambitious plans of setting up factories for recycling and building bike lanes to encourage the use of bicycles instead of cars.

“They put in great effort and are so proud of themselves. It was a great sense of accomplishment for them.

They have applied what they have learnt from the ecology lesson and had a lot of fun,” Ms Rabinovitsj said.

Although the project was not sophisticated enough to stand out in the contest, neither the teachers nor students showed any sign of disappointment.

“The project has strengthened their idea of environmental protection. They seem to have a deeper understanding of what people are doing and its effect on the environment,” Ms Rabinovitsj said.

Jenny Cooper, one of the students in the group, told Sunday Young Post they really enjoyed working on the project.

“It would have been great if we had won, but even though we did not, people now have a better idea about in and Hong Kong will be cleaner,” she said enthusiastically.