Every year Humanity celebrates Earth on April 22nd. This year, the theme for Earth Day was ‘Restore our Earth’, which focuses on the pragmatic and necessary actions we can take to reduce climate change and spread hope.
In Jesuit schools across the globe, students (and educators!) are Caring for our Common Home through many different, creative and inspiring ways with little daily actions as well as bigger ecological projects and programs. For Earth Day 2021, we invited teachers from our global community to give their students the opportunity to present their environmental actions and experiences, and reflect on them together with students from other Jesuit schools, through a global Connected Classroom.
The celebration was very well received and proved to be an educational and enjoyable experience for all! Eight Jesuit schools from seven different countries connected on the day! There were exchanges of ecological activities, science projects, and even spiritual reflections. The breadth and depth of the students’ sharing was truly astounding. From sharing creative ways to reduce plastic and food waste, to making it part of the school policy to plant trees, to nurturing an urban farm and orchard (and later selling the produce and donating this money to charity), to educating us on the benefits of eco enzymes and sustainable insulation materials, to participating in Fridays for Futue protests and creating student climate activist groups, to reminding us of the importance of creating a culture of care as Pope Francis mentions in Laudato Si, there was so much we could all learn from listening to these students. Students enjoyed the opportunity to communicate their creative initiatives and also listen to new ideas and learn from their peers in other schools. This global Connected Classroom gave students (and teachers!) the opportunity to grow and learn from different countries of the world with whom they otherwise may not have had much contact.
What a wonderful way to “accompany the youth in the creation of a hope-filled future”!
In this videos you can see some highlights of the Connected Classroom:
Here are some testimonials shared by the teachers whose students participated:
“It is such a privilege to be virtually in classrooms in Nepal, the Philippines, Tanzania, Indonesia, Italy, Spain and Ireland all at the same time. We have SO MUCH to learn from students in the MAJORITY WORLD and I love the amount of science research some of the students are applying to sustainability!”
Michael Grehan – Belvedere – Ireland
“We feel enriched and inspired in seeing the ideas of the many students around the world. Thank you for the opportunity and we definitely hope we could have more such opportunities for international collaboration in the future.”
Alfredo Joaquin – Ateneo de Manila – Philippines
“Thank you for enabling us to participate and share from different countries on how to take care of our Common Home ( The Earth) it was real amazing to learn from others. Our students were so delighted to be part of this wonderful platform. We hope to have more such opportunities in the future again. We extend our sincere gratitude to other schools form different countries who shared their experiences with us.”
Nyamohanga Nyahiri – St. Peter Claver High School – Tanzania
“The boys from 4B and I very much enjoyed today’s international gathering and gained very valuable insights and learning experiences from all that you do. It was a very important for my students to experience first-hand the commitment, creativity and (com-)passion of other young people in from all corners of our beautiful Earth. So, thank you very much for your inspiration and hard work!”
Elisabeth Clarke – Gonzaga College – Ireland
“Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to be part of the Earth Day Connected Class. The sharing of students from different countries gives us a wider perspective on various ways to care for our common home. We know that there is really so much that needs to be done but if we make everyone aware through collaboration like this, we can do our own contribution in taking care of Mother Earth.
Malou Antonio – Ateneo de Manila – Philippines
“Thank you all for sharing, it was a wonderful moment, very significant especially for the students. We very much enjoyed every second of our meeting.”
Mimoza Marku – Istituto Sociale – Italy
We would like to thank all participating schools (listed below) for being part of this wonderful celebration with the aim of continuing to restore and heal our Mother Earth. We have also been receiving amazing videos and presentations from many other Jesuit schools in our global network who could not participate in the Connected Class on the day, which we are compiling to be shared soon as resources for your classroom. Stay tuned!
- Ateneo de Manila High School, Manila, Philippines
- Belvedere College, Dublin, Ireland
- Centro Educativo Ntra. Sra. de la Merced y San Francisco Javier, Burgos, Spain
- Gonzaga College, Dublin, Ireland
- Istituto Sociale, Turin, Italy
- St. Peter Canisius College, Jakarta, Indonesia
- St. Peter Claver High School, Dodoma, Tanzania
- St. Xavier’s School, Godavari, Nepal