Grade 2E inquiry + pickles + GreenWeek 2019 = fundraiser for refugees!

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Check out Mr. Ryan Scott and his Gr. 2E students taking action & helping an Upper School club fundraise!

“During our 3rd Unit of Inquiry, Grade 2 found out that there are a staggering 10,000 refugees in Hong Kong.  We discovered that although our ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ may differ, we still have a lot in common.

Inspired by this, Grade 2 wanted to help the Refugees.  We decided we wanted to help by providing some of their ‘needs’.  In order to do this, we needed to fundraise the supporting funds. We wanted to host a market, but we needed to understand how a market works in order to host our own.  We went on field trips to markets and learned about goods and services.  The market was highly successful and we raised more than $15,000HKD.  However, 2E didn’t want to stop there.  We have had little pockets of individual fundraising and recently we were growing vegetables and we discussed what we could do with excess vegetables.  Mr Scott told us about how he use to make a variety of pickles with his Nana Myrtle. One thing lead to another and now we have Nana Myrtle pickles.

A call out across the CDNIS community for used glass jars provided the canvas for Gr. 2E to design the logo and look for ‘Nana Myrtle’s pickles’ and these pickles were sold during GreenWeek 2019 at the pickle pop-up shop to great acclaim!  With all the interest, curiosity and order, they raised over $1000 and 2E decided to donate the money to the Upper School Global Goals Club “Cooking for a Cause” who cook for refugees at the Refugee Centre in Chungking Mansions on monthly weekends.  A fantastic symbiotic relationship at work!


Bronze AYP Adventurers & their successes!

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Lower School teacher and AYP supervisor, Rebecca Tupling, shared the recent success of the Bronze AYP students:
“I am just writing to inform you all that this past weekend we had 18 students complete their last Bronze journey.
Groups have to plan a purpose for each journey which may include documenting the local wildlife, identifying landforms, observing the effects of a recent typhoon, taking pictures of the historical buildings, etc., and one journey’s purpose was to pick up garbage along the trail. They picked up nearly half a large bag of garbage over the course of two days. This was an incredible way they showed action, which compliments the IB curriculum. In addition, I have attached a photo of a snake that we saw (although this picture is from the internet). This snake is a Red-necked Keelback snake and is venomous, however it was docile and passive as it slithered past my group on Sunday and we watched it slither through the undergrowth for a few minutes. There was a moment of awe and respect for the snake by the students as they gave the snake space as they watched it from a distance.”

E-club’s Shek O beach cleanup and zero-waste veggie potluck lunch!

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Sunshine, a sea breeze and the smell of rotting meat with maggots?! What a way to start our Sunday!  Members of the e-club, friends and family joined on Sunday, the 25th of March to spend their morning cleaning a section of Shek O’s rocky shore near the Instagram-happy “Lover’s Bridge”.  Fifteen big bags and buckets of styrofoam, juice boxes, bottles, plastic rope & shreds, bags of rotting meat, shoes and straws were amongst the common types of trash we collected.  This was also no ordinary beach clean-up as we collected single-use plastic for a Lower School art installation being developed by Orca house members of Gr.s 4-6 involved in the recent Leadership Education & Action Planning workshop (LEAP) for the upcoming GreenWeek, and we finished with a no-waste (bring your own utensils) vegetarian potluck lunch, complete with a green E-Club cake, on the beach!  We had a meaningful day out in Shek O this past weekend, and we hope to have more people join us for our next environmental event – the City Nature Challenge on the 28th of April!  Thank you to the Sternby parents for also joining Ms. Safaya as the adults on this excursion, and the E-club execs for organizing this event: Yvette, Aisha, Jameson, Lolo and Kyra!  Enjoy browsing through the photos taken by Jameson, ace photographer and environmentalist!

UNICEF Food Drive for Feeding HK

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UNICEF hosted two rounds of a food drive from October 30thNovember 3rd and November 27thDecember 1st 2017 for the NGO Feeding Hong Kong. Feeding Hong Kong is responsible for bringing surplus food to crisis shelters and central kitchens, where the collected food is given to those in need. As the cold weather approaches, many people eat more in order to keep warm. However, there are those with not enough to eat, those who sleep on hungry stomachs during winter, and many of those are children and the elderly. Collection efforts focused on high energy food such as rice and pasta Thanks to the caring CDNIS community, UNICEF collected 8 boxes of staple foods such as rice, oatmeal, tinned meats and fruit, broth and noodles. The donations will contribute to Hong Kong’s progress in meeting the SDG #2 (Zero Hunger).

Small Plastic, Big Problem – Ellie @ the Ocean Summit 2018

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Ellie Cottrell, a Grade 12 student, taking Geography HL was one of the keynote speakers at the Volvo World Ocean Race’s “Ocean Summit” on 22nd January 2018, addressing a large gathering of committed academics and activists in the marine world.  You can catch a summary of the overall event on this video (Ellie is there right at the start!).  Here are her thoughts about the experience:

“Micro-plastics, or plastic pollution generally, in Hong Kong is something that is often talked about in the classroom or in discussions with teachers, but I found that there is little action taken to solve the issue. Particularly in the context of micro plastics, I found that as the issue is harder to be seen physically, it is often disregarded in favour other issues. 

After doing the Extended Essay (EE), I came to learn how under-researched this topic is, while also learning about the toxic and deadly consequences of micro plastic pollution. After finishing the EE earlier this school year, I found myself feeling frustrated with the difficulty of making a change about this issue, both from the idea of a cleanup measure and a preventative solution. Working with human rights issues and refugee rights, I found it was easier to get directly involved and campaign for institutional change. But making change for this issue has been difficult, as I felt like advocacy can only go so far when corporations continue to sell single-use plastics. It’s an issue close to my heart, where I have began to take my own personal measures such as saying “no” to single-use plastics and advocating for the issue among friends and family. Yet I still didn’t really know where I could go to advocate for this issue on a bigger platform or to make a direct difference. 

Last week, I spoke at the Ocean Summit for the Volvo Ocean Race as the Youth Speaker.  Ms. Safaya gave me this amazing opportunity, and it opened my eyes to the innovative solutions people are taking to the issue of plastic pollution, while also giving a platform to raise my voice. I had the opportunity to see some amazing speakers who had started initiatives such as the Cup Club, providing a sustainable solution to disposable coffee cups, the Plastic Diet, the changing people’s outlook on disposable plastic bags in Indonesia, and many others as well. I was humbled to be able to see so many innovative yet simple solutions to the plastic problem, which all had had an enormous positive impact on the issue. 

Being able to speak at the conference in front of so many academics and public figures who I admire was an amazing experience. I was able to share my own experiences through my work and research I had done in the extended essay on micro-plastics in Hong Kong, while also being able to use my voice to advocate for the necessity for individual change.  This experience was something new to me, and I wasn’t sure how the audience would react in terms of gaining support for change. I was pleased to see the positive reactions from my speech, with people sending me messages and emails after the conference to ask more questions about my work. This experience showed me the willingness for change in the community, and I can only hope to get more involved in this issue in the future.”

UNICEF Winter clothes drive

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UNICEF’s recent clothing drive, held 15-19 January 2018, was organised with the aim of helping local NGO Christian Action to support refugees in need of winter clothing. Although spring approaches, there are still many chilly and windy days to go until we have warm sunshine (and humidity) once more. And while we can rejoice in our heated rooms and wooly sweaters, refugees who have fled from their home countries with minimal possessions are not so lucky. Fortunately, the clothing drive was a great success due to the generosity of our CDNIS community — we collected a total of 17 large boxes, packed to the brim with various warm garments, accessories, and even shoes and blankets! The donations hopefully will do their part to help Hong Kong progress towards meeting SDG 3 (good health and well-being). Having the right sort of clothing in different seasons is essential for maintaining good health and immunity against diseases. Making better use of our used clothing can even tie in with SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), because our warm clothes can pass to people who need them — and all for the better.

Staff Action: Animal rights in Abu Dhabi

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Ms. Bonnie Calanchini (Lower School) writes:

While living in Abu Dhabi, I was broken hearted to see the ponies at the local shopping mall, standing for many hours in the heat without food or water, on hot concrete. Kids would harass them, and they were tied to tight that they couldn’t lift their heads. They had no sparkle in their eyes.  Long story short, I ended up getting the mall to remove them. Later, I followed up where they went, and although their lives were probably not much better, they were at least taken to a park where they were on grass and had some shade.

Green Halloween Costume Swap

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Roots & Shoots students put together their second Green Halloween costume swap and successfully sold almost everything! With the start of school, camp and holidays it’s always a tough time to organize a campaign but Grade 4-6 students rose to the occasion and took responsibility for promoting the event, raising awareness and managing the sale. In total they raised $336 for the Jane Goodall Institute. Here are their thoughts:

“It was really cool. I never knew that people would buy so many second-hand clothes & accessories! The money at the end was mind-blowing!” – Naomi (Grade 6)

“I noticed that even though it was second-hand stuff, everyone still bought stuff. We are trying to help the planet and the people buying are helping too!” – Alexa (Grade 5)

“Everyone bought costumes even though they have been used before” – Joseph (Grade 6)

“I think it was a really good experience and I hope I can do it next year” – Anna (Grade 5)

“Overall, it was a great experience and I enjoyed it a lot” – Chloe (Grade 6)

“It was awesome!!!” – Fiona

E-Club: Allies for Action and GIN Week

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In the week leading up to Earth Hour 2015 (March 28th), the E-Club held our Allies for Action awareness-raising campaign, showing the fruits of our members’ labour. Having worked on various projects since February, members formed groups and initiated their own projects in order to raise awareness about an issue close to their hearts, to do with the environment. Ultimately, our students showed off their knowledge and their skills in the form of posters, videos, and different artworks!

Check out one group’s Public Service Announcement on Paper Usage here, and pictures of the project here.

In addition to our Allies for Action campaign, our members also participated in an Earth Hour pledge activity, organized by the Executive team in collaboration with the Animal Welfare Club. Together, we hosted a pledge-making station in the Forum on Monday and Tuesday lunch, and asked our school community to make pledges for the environment. This was a fun activity that made us all think about the little things that we can do to help the Earth!


E-Club and Geography Club – Beach Clean Up!

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The E-Club and the Geography Club went on a joint hike and beach cleanup in between Mui Wo and Pui O on the 8th of February, 2015. With a team of ten, plus a few teachers, we were able to collect tens of bags of trash, leaving the beach much cleaner than it had been at the start. This was an awesome opportunity for our members to take action in the wider Hong Kong community, and we are very proud of our members for being so proactive. We learned together that even one person filling one bag of trash can make a huge difference!


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