Chester Zoo has enlisted the help of UK school children in its battle to save South East Asia’s endangered songbirds.
Educators from the zoo in Cheshire have stated that teaching and inspiring children about such conservation crises is the way to save the planet’s beautiful wildlife. Up to 1.3 million birds are taken from the wild each year and songbirds in Indonesia are on the very brink of extinction.
Consequently, the education team has launched a Sing for Songbirds campaign – a free outreach programme – in a bid to empower children to want to protect species from other countries and cultures, as well as those closer to home.
The campaign has worked with schools to incorporate the songbird crisis across the curriculum, from Music to Maths, to Drama to Geography, to English and more.
The new approach is designed to add extra value and enrich each subject for children, while simultaneously helping to inspire the next generation of conservationists.
All of the schools that have so far taken part were specially selected in an attempt to reach out to those that wouldn’t normally be able to visit the zoo, engaging children who had potentially never been interested in conservation initiatives before.
Up to now, 2,443 British students from 26 schools have been taught by the zoo’s team of Safari Rangers. All of the classes were revisited by the team several times as research has discovered that engaging a group repeatedly over a focussed period of time is more effective than a one off visit.
Hannah Brooks, the zoo’s community engagement manager, said: “It’s vital that we teach the next generation about wildlife crises such as these, to not only develop their knowledge of songbirds and other cultures, but importantly to empower them to want to take action and protect them.
“It’s about inspiring more people to connect with nature and to find their own way, however little or big, to be a conservationist in their day to day life that’s really going to make a difference for species around the world.”
Teachers looking to take a school group to Chester Zoo will find a number of relevant workshops to choose from, including a Conservation session for Key Stage 2 that looks at why the world’s wildlife is under threat.
To make a booking, visit www.chesterzoo.org.