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Written by Abigail Chifusa, Global Schools Project Officer

Education plays a crucial role in shaping young minds and equipping them with the tools to transform the world. 

Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s powerful quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can utilize to transform the World,” the students of ISTEK Kaşgarlı Mahmut Kindergarten, led by Global Schools Advocate Ayça Özkardeş, embarked on an extraordinary journey to raise awareness about global problems. Through a stage show adaptation of the book "The Birds and the Bees and the Facts of Saving Life," they not only connected with real-life issues but also fostered a sense of responsibility toward the environment. This article highlights their remarkable initiative and the positive impact it had on the entire school community.

At the beginning of the academic year, the kindergarten students at ISTEK Kaşgarlı Mahmut, aged 3-6, delved into the pages of "The Birds and the Bees and the Facts of Saving Life." This book, supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), served as a catalyst for understanding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encouraged the students to engage with real-world issues. It became the inspiration for an awareness day organized at the end of the year.

To bring the book to life, the school collaborated with the drama teacher and adopted an interdisciplinary approach. The book was adapted into a stage play involving students from different disciplines such as dance, physical education, and foreign languages. By integrating various subjects in creating the play, the students gained comprehensive understanding and enhanced their creativity and teamwork skills.

In line with the message of sustainability conveyed in the book, the school took several eco-friendly measures while planning the stage show. Instead of purchasing costumes that would only be worn once, the students designed their own costumes by painting white t-shirts that they brought from home. This initiative not only minimized waste but also encouraged the school community to embrace the concept of reusing and recycling.

Furthermore, the school aimed to reduce paper usage by digitally sharing the invitation card, which was designed by the students themselves. By adopting these sustainable practices, the students became role models for their peers and demonstrated the importance of conscious consumption.

To raise awareness effectively, the school exhibited student-created products related to the theme of a clean environment versus a polluted one. These displays were linked to the SDGs, allowing students to grasp the interconnectedness between their actions and the global goals. In the school lobby, an information area showcased the critical levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, emphasizing the urgency of environmental conservation.

To amplify the impact of the student products, the song "Who's Gonna End?" by Turkish artist Sertap Erener, supported by the UNDP, played in the background. This combination of visual and auditory elements created a powerful experience, capturing the attention of the school community and leaving a lasting impression on their minds.

At the conclusion of the stage show, all participants gathered to read a collective pledge. They committed to sharing the story of the birds and the bees with everyone, symbolizing their dedication to working towards a better world and protecting all living beings. This act reinforced the values of compassion, environmental stewardship, and global citizenship among the students and the school community.

This inspiring initiative marked a significant milestone for ISTEK Kaşgarlı Mahmut Kindergarten. As a school committed to the Global Schools Program (GSP), they recognized the importance of integrating the SDGs into future events. By prioritizing these Goals, they aim to continue their journey toward building a better and more peaceful world, instilling a sense of responsibility and global awareness in their students.

The Birds and Bees Story Stage Show, organized by ISTEK Kaşgarlı Mahmut Kindergarten and Ayça Özkardeş, serves as a testament to the power of education and the impact that young children can make. Through their creativity, collaboration, and commitment to sustainability, these students have not only raised awareness about environmental issues but have also inspired others to take action. By nurturing a generation of conscious global citizens, the school is playing a vital role in transforming the world, one small step at a time.