In a 5th grade classroom at Primaria Escuela Ford No. 198 in Tulum Pueblo, children proudly proclaimed, “I am an Art of Conservation graduate.”
Each graduate received this certificate. The design includes a few of the animals we studied:
motmot, spider monkey, jaguar and turtle.
Along with their certificates, this special group of children gathered their personal AoC Creative Learning Kits, now serving as a portfolio, recently stuffed with all the work they did over AoC’s semester long (90 plus hours) of one-health awareness classes.
Manuel and Anaïs award AoC student Ángeles her certificate and AoC Learning portfolio of her work.
Ángeles, one of the many adored girls in our program, proudly introduced the AoC team to her mother and brother who attended AoC graduation. We took the opportunity to learn a bit more about Ángeles’ life in Tulum.
Ángeles with her mother and brother.
Ángeles shares a small, two-room house with eight other family members. Her mom and dad are both employed; her mother is a laundress and her father is a builder. We understand life can be challenging for this family, but Ángeles has gained a positive outlook. She expressed that the AoC program has made her believe in herself, and she now wants to do something more with her life. Ángeles’ mother is very positive as well and especially appreciates the bilingual instruction AoC provides.
Along with the majority of the other 34 recent AoC graduates, Ángeles will continue at Escuela Ford next year – Fall 2015 - in 6th grade.
We are pleased the school’s director has asked AoC to offer our one-health awareness and creative learning program at Escuela Ford school again. The AoC team and I will work with the current 4th graders, and we will have the opportunity to keep in touch with our recent graduates during their last year of primary school. We will continue to encourage them to serve their communities as mighty biodiversity conservation champions!
The director of the school, Ms. Genny Yasmin Maza Sánchez, took the opportunity to speak with the children and parents about the serious issue of waste management. She thanked AoC for leading children to clean up the schoolyard, neighborhood streets, and beach.
I have seen many favorable aspects when closely partnering with a few schools for a number of years as opposed to spreading the AoC program too thinly across too many different schools. Our focused efforts create trust between AoC and the administration, teachers, parents and surrounding communities. “Here today - and back again tomorrow” is the approach that provides long-term benefits for children, their families and communities.
The AoC staff (Manuel, Anais, Edgar and me) and artists Pato and Pluma cheer for Ángeles and her fellow AoC graduates. They are a remarkable group of children.I'll be in touch soon about our upcoming first ever AoC Graduate Reunion made possible in part by the generous gift from The Frost Foundation and Howell family.
On behalf of all of us at Art of Conservation, thank you. We appreciate your interest and support. Please be in touch if you have questions or would like to know more ways to contribute to our efforts.
With love and appreciation,