Raising awareness about rhino poaching via Skype with children from USA
Anita Fourie is well known to HESC, and has been for the past 8 years. In 2007 she shared her knowledge and interest in NASA with the teachers of Paulos Ngobeni in the Lente Roode Educational Centre over the course of a weekend. HESC also offered the teachers the opportunity to visit Anita in her class as part of a twinning programme between Anton van Wouw Primary School and Paulos Ngobeni.
Anita then spend 5 years in the USA where she offered her classes the opportunity to Skype with HESC, sharing her passion for conservation with the children. The children from Paulos Ngobeni participated in Skype calls with the American children on a number of occasions, and got to share their experiences and knowledge of animals from the USA and Africa.
Anita returned to the USA in 2015 and decided to join HESC’s Rhino Art programme, while participating in World Rhino Day on the 22nd of September.
We set up a date for a Skype session with Anita’s Grade 3 class at Queens Creek Elementary School on the 15th of September in order to provide the children with enough information in preparation for the international day of recognition. They would also have the opportunity to join the children of Africa in the Rhino Art initiative.
More about the Rhino Art Initiative
HESC partnered with Rhino Art, started by Kingsley Holsgate and Grant Fowles, after Grant offered HESC the opportunity to join forces.
“In an effort to fight the war against poaching, Rhino Art involves local communities that are at times the silent witnesses to the slaughter. We aim to increase conservation awareness amongst the youth and cultivate a next generation of wildlife “ambassadors” that has a vested interest in the protection of rhino and other endangered species. The collection of this art also adds to the ‘groundswell’ of public support for Rhino Protection and has already gathered the largest number of children’s ‘Art Voices’ ever recorded in support of Rhino Protection, and to uses these ‘Hearts and Minds’ messages from the children of Africa, as a worldwide call to action against Rhino poaching.”
More on the Queens Creek Elementary School
Vision “Excellence in Education”
Mission “The Queens Creek Elementary School community will prepare students to be globally competitive leaders and responsible citizens in the 21st century.”
Purpose “We’re preparing students for the future.”
The intended once-off Skype call with Anita’s class soon became part of a 3 school collaboration via Adobe Connect. Ms Cathy Dalimonte, assistant principal at Queens Creek Elementary School, invited more schools and 2 classes from Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School as well as 2 classes from Carolina Forest International Elementary School joined in. About 240 children shared in the collaboration.
Ruan Roos represented HESC, and it was with great enthusiasm that he set up his webcam on his computer, ready to talk about, explain, share information and answer questions on rhinos as well on rhino poaching.
Said Anita, “It was awesome. Our students were highly motivated after the conference. Ruan was very well prepared for our students and answered all their questions. They wanted to get more and more information after the conference. Thank you for teaching us so much information . We are looking forward to many more Skype conferences in the future. This is an excellent way of learning and getting first hand information.”
Queens Creek Elementary School also participated in the World Rhino Day 2015 colouring competition. They created a poster, compared and contrasted the Black to the White Rhino, and displayed their work in support of the global day of recognition.
Technology truly is an amazing thing!