KAUST Social Responsibility  

Environment & English Morning at KAUST for Thuwal Students

Champions of the Mangroves Storytelling

As part of Social Responsibility’s Young Learners’ Development Program and linked with KAUST’s Fall Enrichment Program 2018, 180 elementary students from Thuwal enjoyed an educational, entertaining morning with an environmental focus at The Discovery Cinema.  The students’ visit included two events – a storytelling session of Champions of the Mangroves and a showing of the film A Turtle’s Tale with each activity contributing to two of the YLDP’s aims – environmental awareness and increasing English proficiency. 

Three TKS students, Jenna, Lucy and Ruby, started the morning with a performance of their song ‘Plastic in the Ocean’, with Lucy and Ruby providing a ukulele accompaniment and Ollie the Osprey, a character from ‘Champions of the Mangroves’, dancing along behind them.

After the musical introduction, the stage was set for a cozy storytelling session, with two comfy armchairs under the warm glow of lamplight and a bookshelf promisingly full of books.  ‘Champions of the Mangroves’, tells the story of courageous creatures living in the nature conservation area near the King Abdullah Monument determined to clear up invading man-made rubbish after a storm.  Read to the audience by the author herself, Rebecca Kent is an Elementary teacher at The KAUST School and she shared the reading with fellow Elementary teacher, Marwa Qadrai, who read from the Arabic translation.  The children were also able to follow along with the story on the pages projected on to the big screen.  Afterwards each child met the author and received a signed copy of the book.

The animated film ‘ A Turtle’s Tale’ was chosen for its complementary theme of a serious environmental message, conveyed in an accessible format for children, while the Arabic sub-titles supported the children’s understanding of the English dialogue.  The morning was rounded off with a photograph taken with Ollie the Osprey before each child left with a meal box and fruit.

Social Responsibility co-ordinated with a number of people to create this event for the children.  The book ‘Champions of the Mangroves’ was created and published as part of the Health, Safety & Environment Department’s biodiversity community engagement initiative, thank you to HSE for ensuring each child received a copy.  Thank you to the following: to Lucy, Jenna and Ruby for performing confidently to a brand new audience they had never met; to Rebecca and Marwa for reading the story so beautifully, the children were enthralled; the team at Discovery Cinema that sorted the complex sound and lighting requirements; and Burger King and Tamimi for their donations in kind and for accommodating the huge food orders so smoothly.

The activities fitted into a series of environmental outreach programs that Social Responsibility organizes as part of its remit to advance the KAUST mission of being a good neighbor and responsible citizen.  The Young Learners’ Development Program, while primarily targeted at enhancing the learning for intermediate and secondary school students, has the flexibility to include elementary students, when opportunities arise.

UN Sustainable Development Goal #4  UN Sustainable Development Goal #5  E-WEB-Goal-14  UN Sustainable Development Goal #15

Part of the Young Learners' Development Program - read the Program Overview here .

November 22, 2018

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