The end of the year is an excellent time to look back on the educational activities that took place throughout the year. The new educational projects that joined the selected projects of the Partnership for Regional Sustainability have already made an impression during the few months in which they have been operating. Today is a great opportunity to celebrate the prjects achievements.
Tal”i School in Alona hosted meetings with Alwadi School from Jasr A-Zarka, as part of the “Along the River Course” project. Within the framework of this educational program, 4th-grade students are exposed to issues relating to nature and humans along the Taninim River; they study the river as a habitat for animals, take part in activities contributing to nature conservation and increasing the school community’s familiarity with the river. This year children from Alona met with children from Jasr A-Zarka at different sections of the Taninim River and together they learned about the river’s fascinating ecosystem. Presently, the school is preparing for a community summit day that will showcase the educational program to the residents of the Alona Regional Council.
Another project that aims to connect between students from different schools via environmental education celebrated two successful and enjoyable peer-learning meetings. The “Learning Together – Local Biodiversity” project connects between groups of students from Geva School in Giv’at Ada and Alkandil School in Jasr A-Zarka for joint learning about the unique biodiversity of each community. Both schools operate a year-long educational program that promotes in-depth study of biodiversity and acts to raise awareness among school students and the local community about the importance of nature conservation. During the joint meetings in the natural environment, in Giv’at Ada and Jasr A-Zarka, each group guides the other group, such that the students learn from each other about the environmental characteristics and research methods, and work together to conserve and clean up the environment.
In Zichron Ya’akov a summit day took place for the first time, to conclude a year of activity and learning in the “Zichron Ya’akov Provides a Nest for the Barn Swallow” project. This is a community-educational project in which 5th-grade students learn about the barn swallow that nests in the town, carry out nesting survey and observations on the nesting swallows. The students initiate a campaign to raise awareness about protecting the nesting birds and work among businesses in Zichron Ya’akov to raise awareness about this issue. During the summit day, in which 5th-grade students took part together with their parents, there were different stations, as well as a workshop to construct an artificial swallow nest. Also in Zichron Ya’akov, students from the town’s high school are working hard to establish a sustainability center in the school. Currently, the students are preparing for the festive opening of the “Second Chance” project that seeks to encourage sustainable daily living and reduction of resource use by swapping clothes and accessories.
In Giv’at Ada the “Alot Ada Forest in the Forest Education” project was successfully launched. This project strives to institute a new educational model for out-of-class learning in the community forest, the Alot Ada Forest, for children in the public education system, in both preschools and schools. The project prides itself in striking a balance between “being” and “doing”, between guided learning and casual learning.
The educational projects in Jasr A-Zarka: "Green Leaders", "The Sustainable Jasr Trail" and "The Sea Daffodil project" operated throughout the year to connect the village children with nature’s amazing treasures in the surrounding environment. Almanara School hosted students from all around the country in an experiential tour of the Jasr trail that ends at the beach. The new Jasr school ran a summit day to launch the project on the banks of the Taninim River. Alkandil School invited visitors from all around the country to view the products of out-of-class learning by the school’s students as part of the “Visiting and Being Hosted” day.
Yes, it is the end of the year, but this is just the beginning. The project leaders are not resting on their laurels; they have already begun preparing themselves for the next school year.