Inside The Classroom
Our art-based curriculum focuses on the importance of protecting the local ecosystem with emphasis placed on protecting the critically endangered mountain gorilla. AoC’s hands-on lessons include the study of animal food chains, animal characteristics and behaviors, habitat protection and reforestation strategies.
There are in class presentations from conservation professionals including Park Guides, Veterinarians and Anti-Poaching Specialists. The AoC conservation program prepares students for future careers as community leaders in the fields of education, sustainable agriculture, skilled trades, health, the arts and business.
We encourage students to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to consider how their individual health and the health of their communities is connected to the sustainability of the local ecosystem and the survival of the mountain gorilla. Upon completing the program students serve as conservation and health ambassadors, mentoring their families and neighbors on the importance of maintaining personal health.
Outside The Classroom
Art of Conservation students apply what they have learned in the classroom by taking part in a variety of experiential field activities; students may plant seedlings and nurture a growing tree, they may prepare and present conservation based art, music and dance performances for their community or even use art as a community conservation tool by painting conservation themed murals in public spaces.
In all field based exercises the students take an active role in learning about, protecting and restoring the ecological balance of their community. All students take part in Safari Through Time, a hands-on interactive activity that guides students through the evolution of our natural world, making a special stop in time to examine the origin and importance of great apes, including the mountain gorilla, and to then explore what actions they can take now that will make a difference for future generations.
It is not only children that benefit from Art of Conservation’s conservation based curriculum, AoC’s Teachers-In-Training program allows local school teachers to attend AoC classes and receive one-on-one training and support from AoC staff. The local teachers participate in classes, sharpen their knowledge of children’s health and conservation issues, and become familiar with AoC’s curriculum and teaching methods. By collaborating with and training local educators AoC plays a significant role in local capacity building.
Parents As Partners Open Houses
Parents of AoC students are an integral part in the success of our education program. AoC hosts a Parents as Partners open house at the conclusion of each one-year program. At the open houses parents have the opportunity to become more familiar with and celebrate the lessons their child has learned. Parents are encouraged to support their child’s effort to live a healthy active life while serving as a role model for other children.