INTO THE WOODS

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2nd Academy in Madrid, sponsored by Symantec

07.12.2015

On the 30th of November 41 children of Laude Fontenebro de Moralzarzal primary school were eagerly waiting infront of a conference room of the Melià Castilla Hotel. No-one wanted to miss the start of the Academy!

The academy was made possible thanks to the commitment of Symantec. The event was free-of-charge for all the attending children, who were aged 8-9. The Academy was made possible by the team of local organisers. Special thanks go to Plant-for-the-Planet Programme Coordinator Jordi Juanos and also to Claudia van’t Hullenaar, Principal Marketing Specialist of Symantec.

Not to be forgotten are the many helpers and supporters from the Symantec Take 5 Volunteering Initiative, without whom the implementation of the Academy would not have been possible.

After a brief welcome, the full attention of the children turned to the presentation "Now we save children the world!", which was given by Israel Manzano, one of Plant-for-the-Planet’s top moderators. The presentation covered: sources of CO2, global warming, photosynthesis, the climate crisis, Plant-for-the-Planet and global justice. These topics were presented in a way suitable for children of the same age. In the subsequent question and answer session, the children had the opportunity to eliminate any ambiguities they may still have had.

Boosted with a lot of new knowledge, the children were divided into small groups to learn about global distribution and justice in the World Game. The children distributed playing figures, candy and balloons on a world map, as symbols for the world’s population, wealth and CO2 emissions respectively. While in the first phase they were asked to distribute the different tokens according to the current distribution, in a second step they were asked to distribute the tokens in order to display a just distribution of CO2 emissions and wealth. It did not take long until all the kids agreed: every country should have the same rights!

Following a short break with light refreshments the children started the "World Café" module. The children worked on the following questions as at four stations questions: "How do we ensure that the media reports about us?", "How do we motivate the adults?", "How do we motivate friends and classmates?" and "How do we organize a planting party?”. After everyone had the opportunity to write down their thoughts to each question, the school groups got to work on the solutions. The ideas and solutions are presented in a clear manner: "What we want to do at our school; who is responsible for which task and by when do we want to achieve our goals"

As soon as the World Café ended, the rhetoric training started. The children prepared and presented their project ideas which they wrote down during the World café. The children helped eachother by giving themselves tips on what to have in mind while giving presentations.

Inspired by the many ideas, the children headed out to take action! They relocated to the hotel’s garden to plant a tree as a symbol against the climate crisis and for climate justice. A big laurel tree was planted and furnished with a plaque in memory of the academy.

While learning, planning and taking action is fun and inspiring, it also requires lot of energy. Therefore, after the symbolic planting action, the children directly headed to have some lunch and load up those batteries again.

Rested, and feeling energised  the children gathered in the conference room once again to present their project ideas to everybody present. Many great ideas were presented and it became clear that the children did not only learn a lot, they also were inspired to take action on the long run.  After a long, eventful , and enjoyable day, all 41 participants received their certificates, which recognised them as a Climate Justice Ambassador.  Moreover, every participant obtained a seedling, for them to plant in their home or school. An interesting day had come to an end.

The team at Plant-for-the-Planet would like to especially thank Symantec for all their support as well as all those involved with this wonderful Academy Day.

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