Making the World Our Valentine by Caring for the Environment
At the Aga Khan Nursery School, Mombasa, Valentine’s Day is a day we eagerly await every February. This year’s celebration was a little different because of COVID-19 restrictions, but we created exciting activities to express our school’s love of the environment.
Around the world, Valentine’s Day is a time for giving flowers, gifts and beautifully written cards to loved ones. The commercial holiday received its name from Saint Valentine, a third-century Roman priest who was widely regarded as the patron saint of love. Today, Valentine’s Day is usually commemorated at schools and workplaces with chocolates, candies and red and pink decorations, but above all, it is a day to cherish those we love and appreciate.
The school was adamant on celebrating this day in accordance with local health and safety protocols. The school’s Head Teacher, Mrs. Gokrani, came up with the idea of gifting trees to our environment, thereby making the whole world our valentine. This idea was pleasantly welcomed by our students and teachers as sustainability and environmental awareness are core aspects of the curriculum at Aga Khan Schools.
On 14th February 2021, our students had a fun-filled day participating in hands-on activities related to Valentine’s Day and learning how caring for our environment can make the world a better place. Students watered the plants around campus and took to drawing, painting and writing to creatively express how they will continue to care for the environment. One student said, “Plant a tree and let the birds have a home!”
Led by the music teacher, Ms. Koki, the teachers wore red outfits (to signify love) and marched around the school singing nursery rhymes.
Mrs. Gokrani highlighted the importance of planting trees. Not only would the trees be a beautiful addition to the school grounds, she said, they would add to the comfort and health of students and teachers by providing shade and fresh air. By the end of the day, our students and teachers had planted seven Umbrella Trees on the school grounds! Like most plants, Umbrella Trees help to maintain a clean environment through photosynthesis, which is the process of removing toxins in the air, turning them into clean oxygen and releasing this oxygen back into the air.
Mrs. Adhuno, the Deputy Head Teacher, shared some words of encouragement for students. "Plant a tree, water it and ensure it grows, then you will understand the beauty and importance of trees,” she said.
The teachers and students were delighted to be part of this environmental mission on Valentine’s Day. Throughout the day, students’ laughs and giggles echoed throughout the school as they worked together to plant the trees. The day ended with a song (which eventually became the school anthem) entitled “I Want to be Kind to Everyone.”
Photos (top to bottom):
- Teachers ensuring that enough soil and water has been added to the plant to ensure healthy growth.
- The Head Teacher, Mrs. Gokrani, enjoying the planting session with teachers.