Healthy environment for a healthy education

*A nice school encourages study for kids
*Aggressiveness and apathy towards education is reduced

The Republica de Haiti School is in Paso Ancho, behind Hipermas. It has 500 students and a staff of 80 persons, in which 60 are teachers. In this school there is a fully commitment and participation with the Blue Flag Program for Educational Centers. But the environmental issue goes even farther, as the principal Hilda Hidalgo says: “first of all, the environmental issue has to do with our search of academic excellence and the quality in every field. For this, we make diagnosis by which we realize what is the real problematic in every field, from the physical, to the social.

Is a compromise to offer quality education, which will mean something and it, will last in the students. We always search to fulfill all the needs by this diagnosis. Due to the fact that there is so many economic and social problems makes us compromise and look for solutions, in a way that all of our proposals work towards the solution of this problems. For example, what does the environment has to do with all this? We insist that the environmental culture isn’t a theory or a speech. Is a living experience, a permanent practice that doesn’t work in one year, or a reward, or a blue flag, it is a permanent compromise with the environment.”

What the environmental education does is immediate

“Our experience has thought us that when we offer a nice institutional environment, physically as well as socially it will guarantee us a significant learning by the students, so they interiorize it and become lasting teachings. To offer a clean, nice and organized institution where the students learn by doing is what is important. All of our projects are truly life experiences. We have been able to demonstrate that while students have a nice, comfortable, attractive place that is also part of the work they do, that will contribute in time’s profit, the motivation of the students and even their behavior. A student that enters an attractive, nice decorated classroom that makes him/her feel in a garden filled with flowers that has comfortable spaces, children will have an improvement in their emotional state and in their conduct. All this is so integrative, because the teachers are compromised; they are motivated to work, in love with education.”

Environmental Education is a life experience, not a fashion.

The testimony of the girls, Mishelle Jirón and Rosa Angélica Gómez made public how the children appreciate the environment. Little Mishelle said “what I like, and I think the other students too, is that we have a nice place to study. We have programs that include many trash cans in school, a butterfly garden, and many green areas where we can do many things when we have classroom projects. School is a nice place to be in.”

Rosa Angélica from the 5th grade coordinates recycling projects, and for her it has been one of her best experiences. “The recycling committee takes a message to the classrooms. Our classmates are requested to bring a box wrapped in blue paper so they put in there the paper. This must be rolled and flattened and then we recycle it. The papers obtained by this are used to make folders, birth date card for the people we love, for example. When the paper is useless, we recycle it again”.

Joes’s Radio Theater

The program Friends of the Forest was emitted for the first time on April 23rd which is the first radio theater of Tropic Joe, the little frog with red eyes, and his friends. They work so that human beings discover the damage that they cause to the environment, and stop doing those things that threaten live on Earth.

Part of the cast from "Friends of the Forest"

Joe, with Ceibo Barrigon and Ranfi the Toucan, Igu the Iguana, and other animals, will take ecological stories to the kids every week. This educational material will be used in the schools that are willing to use it as well as the book The Adventures of Tropic Joe and the Photosynthesis.

Listen to us at Radio Columbia 98.7 FM, 760AM or at www.columbia.co.cr

Date: April 23 rd, 2005
Location:San Jose Costa Rica

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