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So you’ve been accepted as a Trees for Survival school!
Now you need to recognise the financial support of your sponsors; also to involve them and your school community, as well as raising the profile of the TfS programme in your school. A carefully-planned opening ceremony is a great way to do this.
Organising an Opening Ceremony will:
1. Establish for the children an understanding of the importance and value of having the Plant Growing Unit (PGU) in their school as well as an appreciation what they can do to help preserve the environment
2. Allow information sharing with sponsors and your whole school community including other teachers/students not involved in the programme and the local media by telling them –
- What TfS is about
- Why it has been introduced to the school
- Who will participate
- What your PGU will be used for
3. Introduce key players (representatives from the TfS Charitable Trust, the sponsoring Rotary Club and/or other School Sponsors, TfS Field Officers, volunteers, the TfS teacher in charge of the programme and supporting Board members)
4. Provide an opportunity for the school (trustees, staff and children) to thank their school and unit sponsors publicly by inviting coverage of the event in local media
5. Enthuse the children to respect the plants and the need to care for them
6. Give another focus and emphasis for the school’s curriculum
Note that it has been widely observed that children who are encouraged to prepare and participate in the Opening Ceremony find it an enriching activity allows for developing skills in:
- Public speaking in English and Te Reo
- Visual language
- Creative expression – drama, singing, poetry, artwork
2. Experiential Learning & Leadership (as outlined in the NZ Curriculum) eg: see http://keycompetencies.tki.org.nz/content/view/full/276
3. NZ Curriculum community engagement
The New Zealand Curriculum principles state that the school curriculum should have meaning for students, connect with their wider lives, and engage the support of their families, whānau, and communities. An opening ceremony creates the environment for this.
It is also a good idea to invite a noted local environmentalist or dignitary to cut the ribbon at your opening ceremony.
Go for it! Make it a memorable day for all concerned.
This guide has been produced by TfS Field Officer, Dianne Patterson.
This pictorial review of the launch of the TfSprogramme at Pukeoware School gives an insight into a wonderful assembly held on 1 November 2013. The programme produced for the occasion provides a strong indication of the degree of planning undertaken, and reveals the effort made to involve the whole school body, thus giving all pupils a real sense of ownership of this exciting new venture.
The strong presence of representatives of the school sponsors, Trees for Survival and school teaching staff is indicative of the enthusiasm with which this step has been taken.
It has set a platform for a very successful participation in the TfS programme.