Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Roots and Shoots

Since 1986, Jane Goodall, reknowned the world over for her pioneering scientific work with chimpanzees, has become increasingly involved in community organizing and education for the betterment of human, animal, and environmental well-being.

In 1991, Goodall began working with teens in Tanzania to solve local ecological challenges, like deforestation. At the core of this work was the pursuit of knowledge, compassion, and action, which was manifested in problem-solving, education, and community empowerment. From this work emerged the "Roots and Shoots" program, designed to foster similar education and social action campaigns in communities across the globe. Recently, this program was implemented with students from California's Casa Grande High School to reclaim a local stream. As one part of the project, students managed a hatchery that enabled them to repopulate the stream with fish.

"Roots and Shoots" (which can be visited here: www.rootsandshoots.org) offers resources for educators and community members who are interested in supporting similar service learning projects with the aim of ecological reclamation and community empowerment.

I will leave you with these words from one of Jane Goodall's own poems, capturing the "peace of the forest" that so many claim that she possesses.

"Go out, my child, go out and seek
Your soul: the Eternal I."

Also, check out Goodall's recent interview on Bill Moyers' "The Journal," from which the information for this posting came (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11272009/watch.html).

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