Monday, 11 November 2013

Help Save the orangutans!

Did you know that over 4 football fields worth of rainforest are destroyed every hour? There are less than 6600 Sumatran orangutans left in the world - at this rate there will be none left by 2015! Liam, a year 4 student at RSS is passionate about raising awareness of the orangutan's depleting habitat. He has made a stop-motion animation to get his message out there. His goal is to reach 1000 views on his YouTube video "Save the Orangutans." He has also set a goal of at least three RSS staff to read a chapter of a book about orangutan's written by world-renown primatologist Craig Stanford, whom he met a recent lecture in Palmerston North. Liam also spent the weekend at Auckland Zoo on an orangutan experience, where he got to touch a real orangutan.

This week is Oragnutan Awareness Week and Liam and his friends have organised lots of happenings around the school to get students and staff to think about the plight of orangutans and make a difference.

Our hub has a display about Palm oil and today, students 'lost' part of their playground, just as orangutan's are losing their habitat. On Thursday, students will be allowed to dress up in orange and/or their favourite animal.  In return they will get a banana or orange. All proceeds from this dress up day will go the the Auckland Zoo's Conservation Fund Programme.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Planning a Community Garden

A group of Rosie's year 6 potential leaders are working on designing a Community Garden in conjunction with Willard Home Residents to take to the BOT for implementing next year. They are enthusiastic about a space where relationships and wisdom is shared between the RSS community and the Willard Home community, as well as a way to provide produce and an enjoyable space for both communities to share with our wider Palmerston North community. As year 6 students, this will be a lasting legacy they can leave the school, and they are already discussing in great detail the qualities of the students they hope will take over their vision. Their vision is strong, and enthusiastically reinforced by everyone they engage with for advice and support. There has been an enormous amount of research that has gone into preparing for designing such an exciting initiative.
Willard Home staff are also very enthusiastic about such a venture and some of us met with staff to discuss a shared vision, needs of both communities, and the process they are going through as part of our learning. For some students, a meeting like this was a new experience, and I was impressed with their level of preparation, confidence and risk-taking to contribute to such a productive meeting. Below is what we hope will be an historic photo of the start of our new venture.

This week we met with Dave, a landscaper designer, who explained the process he goes through to design outdoor spaces for clients. Everyone got a lot of insight into the level of detail and preparation that goes into the process of preparing a design, and that the pitch they take to Willard Home and the BOT needs to be communicated clearly and in detail to get everyone on board. We have a lot of work to do! Here is a photo of an app Dave is sharing with us to work out the amount of sunlight we can expect throughout the different season in a our preferred location: