Trees of Peace Inspire a Learning Community Collaboration

Apr. 21, 2017

​Can just one person make a difference in our world? The students and staff at Prince of Wales School explored this inquiry in preparation for our spring concert. We were inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai’s story as told in the picture book, Wangari’s Trees of Peace. The full story of one woman planting trees in Kenya, inspiring other women to do the same, resulted in more than 20 million trees on their farms and a complete landscape change for the country. Indeed, one person can make a difference and inspire a huge and powerful change.

Teachers gathered together to write the script and compile the music that would tell the story. Students created props, supported teachers in painting backdrops, learned their script lines, drummed, danced and sang.  Parent volunteers supported us in the creation of props. Together they became the artistic storytellers of this remarkable tale.

Beyond the art, music and drama experiences, this became a powerful example of citizenship and character with deep connections into other curricular areas. Student reflections after the show:

“Wangari shows what happens when you believe in yourself. I was really excited to perform. I was ready to show off. I showed good character by practicing at home and really worked hard to do my best.”

“I learned that if everyone works together and helps out you can get it done.
You just have to persevere. Thank you to all the teachers for making this happen – it was really fun.”

“I learned that one person is capable of doing many things if they devote themselves to it and if you work as a team a lot more things can get done.”

“I really liked how the whole school took part in the celebrations.”

“I thought it was really amazing how far it came from such a big idea. I think it was really important that everyone worked together and flowed smoothly. As a school, we were great at that.”

It truly takes a village and what a remarkable village Prince of Wales school is. The tiny seed of an idea flourished into a true collaboration.