US Ambassador Visits Shanghai Minli Middle School
In the past 11 years, Shanghai Roots & Shoots, a local non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education through interactive programs has been working closely with more 60 schools in Shanghai implementing the Youth for Environmental Sustainability Program and Organic Garden Program, both of which offer students the opportunity to learn about the environment they live in while empowering them make a difference.
Currently, over 350 schools in and around Shanghai are involved with Shanghai Roots & Shoots including Minli Middle School. Roots & Shoots volunteers from universities and the corporate community mentor student environment clubs using the curricula Shanghai Roots & Shoots has developed over the years. The Shanghai government acknowledegs the contribution Shanghai Roots & Shoots has made to the community, particularly in the area of environmental education by extending tremendous support for its work.
Given the success of the school’s Roots & Shoots group – the Green Club, Minli Middle School received two special guests, US Ambassador Terry Branstad and US Consul General Sean B. Stein. Mr. Cao Bin, principal of Minli and Ms. Liu Ning, advisor teacher of the Green Club and the club members showed the guests around their beautiful school organic garden on the rooftop where the students have planted mints, tulips, cabbages, garlics among many other vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Afterwards, the students gave a more detailed introduction of the projects the club had carried out including composting, making organic detergent using kitchen waste and recycling. Students became aware of the importance of protecting the environment and made commitment to making the world a better place for all. They changed their behaviors, saving resources in everyday life. They studied the medicinal use of herbs and made mosquito repelling ointment using the herbs they grew themselves. They sold the ointment raising money for organizations that support the underprivileged people.
The Green Club was named an outstanding student group both by the Jing An District and by Shanghai Roots & Shoots.
In President Xi’s 19th Congress report, one of the key messages is for every individual and every organization to take action to help conserve and protect the environment. The whole school of Minli has launched a Reduce, Reuse and Recycle initiative with the Green Club taking the lead getting the students and teachers together to make a difference.