Taking Learning To The Streets

Essentials: Taking Learning To The Streets

When you find out what happens to plastics in your community, when you learn the hazards of plastic consumption – and the environmental harm – you have to spread the word.

This was the experience of educators and youth at Government Urdu High School, Tank Garden, an Adobe Youth Voices site. For their documentary film project on the Recycling of Plastics, they interviewed pollution control officials and doctors. They also visited recycling plants and learned the process in depth.

Beyond making the film, American India Foundation Coordinator Chandan Nallal reports that educators thought they “had to give the project a new dimension that would result in some effect at least on the immediate vicinity of their school.” They came up with the idea for a small rally, where students would hold signs and shout slogans about reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics.

When the head of the School Development Committee heard of the plan, he pressed for local leaders to join in the event. Ultimately, on a sunny day in late February 2012, an enormous crowd – including local town and education officials, students and teachers from Tank Garden and neighboring schools – assembled to lend their voices and support.

“The team circumambulated the school through the small streets and caught the eyes and ears of all residents, traders, and laborers!” says Chandan.

The event was a huge success, a moment of community pride that was gratifying to the students and educators involved in the project – and a thrill for local leaders. The students also brought their message home to their families. “Many parents of the youth participating in the project stopped using plastics because the youth insisted on it,” reports Chandan.

From parents, to school officials, to policymakers and other members of your community, you never know who will be willing to hear and take up your message… unless you speak to them!