Climate Reporters: Green grade 1's plant trees for their school

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By Titus Murithi
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Class one pupils of Willy’s Academy accompanied by the school director (back center) and some of the school teachers. They display the tree seedlings before planting them within the school compound.
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Titus and his twin daughters lead the class in a poem recital. The poem is all about the importance of trees, and was written by the twins’ older sister, Bridget.
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The grade 1 students show off their seedlings – let’s get planting!
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The planting has begun!
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Wendy Nkirote gets absorbed in her tree planting, making sure the seedling is planted comfortably in the soil
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Win-joy Kanana carefully pats the soil down around her first tree
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Barbra smiling next to her seedling – you can tell it’s not the first time she has done tree planting!
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You can tell it’s not Blessy’s first tree planting either!
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School director, Mr Muguna, also got the chance to plant a tree at Willy’s Academy
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Isaack Thuranira doing a stand up job at his very first tree planting
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Lesley Kathambi looks determined to do a good job planting her first tree – hopefully the first of many!
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Once the tree planting is finished, the students water their new seedlings
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The grade 1 class at Willy’s Academy had a fun-filled day learning about trees and getting the opportunity to plant their own – some couldn’t stop smiling afterwards, and are already looking forward to next year’s tree planting
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My twin daughters, Blessy and Barbra, attend Willy’s Academy school, and on May 7th 2018, we helped organise the first ever tree planting event for students from the twins’ class to learn about the importance of trees – and everyone got to plant one!

Barbra and Blessy are in class one, which has a total of 16 students.  I donated 22 tree seedlings, including 6 fruit trees, for the children and staff to plant.

Two weeks before the planting of the trees at Willy’s Academy, I talked to the two school directors, Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Muguna, and explained my initiative of training kids to plant trees at their tender young age.  At once Mr and Mrs Muguna excitedly accepted my idea to teach the grade 1 class all about tree planting.

They were taken aback when I told them I would be the one who would donate the tree seedlings to all the children in my daughters’ class.

They have told me since then that in the history of Willy’s Academy, which was founded about two decades ago, that no parent has ever brought this kind of idea to them. I told them from that day I would be partnering with them every rainy season to engage the pupils and plant trees in the school compound, and I will always donate the tree seedlings.

They were so excited and waited in anticipation for the day, to see the now historical event kick off in their school. The day came and at 11 o’clock sharp I arrived.

The class one kids were called out, accompanied by a number of their teachers and nursery school children. I explained the importance of trees, and why everyone, including children, should be planting as many trees as they can.

My daughters distributed a poem about trees to their classmates (which was written by my elder daughter – Bridget) and we all recited the poem together.  Following the poetry reading we got straight down to business, and the tree planting began.

The nursery school kids were a little green with envy, as they badly wanted to join in and plant the trees, but unfortunately I could only donate enough for one class of children and a few extra for some of the staff and teachers. Break time came around, and other pupils surrounded the grade 1 class to watch as they planted the trees.

I noticed that the majority of the pupils, both from the grade 1 class and bystanders, were so excited and showed extreme enthusiasm to plant trees there and then.  I promised the two directors that during the next rainy season I’ll try my best to see to it that more children get to be involved, so that they can all learn about being custodians for the environment, and experience planting their very first trees.
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