Stripes & Silverbacks

18th December 2018

It’s not surprising to find energy levels of both children and adults a bit low in the run up to Christmas, so to wrap up my Conservation art workshops for Winter Term and indeed 2018, and to set everyone off with happy vibes for the festive holiday, I arrived in class with gifts of two cases of brand new colouring pens. The children’s faces lit up when they saw them and lots of tiny hands started grabbing for their favourite colours immediately. As such, the workshop began with a bang and I sketched gorillas and tigers whilst teaching the little ones about their conservation.

All gorilla populations are endangered or critically endangered according to IUCN Red Date list, but mountain gorilla populations in the Virunga Mountains – a chain of volcanoes in East Africa bordering Rwanda, the DR Congo and Uganda – has increased to over 1000 for the first time since the 1980’s when it was less than 250. It’s a great success story for conservation efforts, and with just 3890 tigers left in the world – an increase from 3200 in 2010 – it’s proof that we can make a difference when we put our minds to it.

Art is a therapeutic activity allowing you to go into a ‘zone’, so I watched with a warm heart as some of the teachers joined the colouring in too. In particular, Mrs Casey, who added more beautiful stripes to the big sketch of the tiger I’d done on the white board.

It was so wonderful having everyone contribute and learn about how we can help protect and preserve these endangered species, and such a special way to end the year so thank you very much for having me again Nursery.

My Spring workshops are just about to begin again but seeing as it’s still technically early January, I’d like to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year, hopefully one with an even greater green and eco-friendly mind set going forward! In the words of Jane Goodall, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

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