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Your School EcoNewsletter
can do it.... requires 4 keen students
No it doesnt have to be an impossible dream. If your school is already environmentally active the stories are already there!. They just need to be written...
One effective way to do this project is to give it to four keen students as part of a literacy/computer/environment activity. Naturally they still need your support.
Your students need to know what types of stories can be part of the newsletter. Look up the SFSF website and you will see a huge range of ideas. What we particularly suggest would be:
Your editors should not write all the stories. Their role would be to encourage particular stories from students and staff, collate and produce the newsletter. They might even be able to find a local sponsor who would like to support printing of the newsletter in return for recognition.
Why should you be involved?
Schools for a Sustainable Future knows that many schools, teachers and communities are concerned about our environmental future and are taking positive actions to make a difference. However the reality of schools is that there are many other priorities to be addressed.
When it comes to highlighting what is happening in our schools academic results. reading , maths sport music and Technology seem to be key features.
So SFSF has decided that, for once, students and schools should have the chance to be recognised for their work on the environment and create an opportunity to speak to your community.
You probably wonder how can young people make an impact with their concerns. Well it has already happened in Melbourne. Just this year students from Trinity Grammar invited Nelson Mandela to Australia. As a result of their letter he came and produced one of the most powerful messages for peace and reconciliation we have heard for many years.
Again in 1992 a 12 year old girl spoke to thousands of world leaders at the Earth Summit in Brazil. Read what she had to say (click here) and you will understand how your voice can be heard.
What do we want to achieve?
We want your school to focus on the environment both in and out of school, what you are doing about preserving and enhancing it, and how you might improve what you do in the future.
We want you to learn about some of the issues that are affecting our world and will certainly affect you as you grow up.
Finally we want you to touch your local community with your writings and ideas. We think that if each school is able to just influence their families and neighbors then the effects can be dynamic.
How will we do it?
In practical terms most schools will opt for a small team of students to be responsible for most of the work. This could easily be a special project for that group that encompasses English, research, organisation and IT skills.
What can be in your newsletter?
This is a great opportunity to Brainstorm. If this is going to be a project that is intended to involve a number of classes and people then you have every chance of coming up with some exciting ideas.
Perhaps the first question you should put on the board is WHY?
If you start to think along these lines then you might be able to write, research and investigate stories along some of the following lines.
What does your schools doing in the grounds and in the classroom as far as environmental projects?
What environmental activities do you take part in your community?
What is your school achieving through programs like Waste Wise, Water Watch, Saltwatch, Energy Smart, Worming into the Community?
What are your plans for the future?
Do we just have to write about our school?
No! This is an opportunity for students to do a story about almost any aspect of how we are dealing with environment issues . Some ideas:
What if we have too many stories?
Well you could put extra articles on your schools web site and send readers to the site if they are interested. If you can include a brief mention of the articles in your newsletter some people will respond.
Your newsletter can include poetry, pictures, plans.
What about other people writing for us?
In moderation - no problem. If you can find a person with a great idea for a story in your community certainly invite them to include it in your publication. If they can share their ideas with your class and explain what they are doing - all the better.
How imaginative can I really be?
How long is a piece of string? Do you want to imagine you are writing your newsletter 10, 20, 50 years into the future? Go for it!
Do you feel like being funny? Have a go. Just remember this is going to your family and friends and we are trying to make them think about environmental issues and your school.
How do we promote our newsletter?
Another opportunity to brainstorm. Your Eco Newsletter is your way of influencing your local community. It may also be a way of raising money or interest.
So perhaps you could:
How good does our newsletter have to be?
This is solely your decision as a teacher. Only you will know the range of ability in your school, the amount of time you have to work with students and what your school will feel comfortable about promoting
. We all know that for some children very basic work is actually their very best - and needs to be recognised as such. Likewise there will only be a few students who could tackle some of the ideas and topics suggested. But perhaps this is the opportunity to give them some responsibility and recognition.
SFSF would like to see at least two really well written and researched articles in each newsletter. We anticipate that the rest of the material will be proof read and tidied up with either students working together or teacher guidance.
Do you have ideas you would like to share on this project? Please forward them to us and we will include them on the site.
© 2000 Schools for a Sustainable Future