During the first month of the year, the Global Schools Program would like to spotlight and recognize 9 Global Schools Advocates as Advocates of the Month for their contribution to Education for Sustainable Development.
Ms. Amanda Tertrault has worked tirelessly to promote SDGs within her school by supporting the teachers she works closely with, as well as working at a grassroots level with the students. As the International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator, she facilitates unit development with all subject groups and infuses the 17 Goals within the global contexts of the units. She has also been leading a club called “Team 17“ with the majority of the middle school students to learn about SDGs and tackle as many Goals as they can in small increments. Amanda is most impressed with the Drama unit created by the theatre teacher in her school, Kyle Collins, that has students inspiring others through performance-based education.
Amos is a Global Schools Advocate who founded the SDG Advocacy Club at Kasigau Girls in Kenya with the aim of putting emphasis on training the young generation about SDGs, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. This includes making eco-friendly charcoal from pruned branches of indigenous trees to developing a sustainable sensor-based agricultural system for smart farming. Amos is a dedicated and goal-oriented educator with a passion for ICT, Innovations, and Design Thinking. He encourages young people from low-income communities in the Kenyan Coast to re-imagine their background in a new way.
Busayo is a passionate Global Schools Advocate who has brought SDGs closer to the students and teachers through fun-packed activities in her country. She has organized two different workshops that were physical and virtual, aimed at introducing the Global Schools Program and educating the teachers on how to incorporate the SDGs by adding Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) into their lessons. Her students in the environmental bees club that she coordinates victoriously took 2nd position in the Education District competition that was based on SDGs and the environment. The competition was organized by the Environmental Education Unit under the Ministry of Environment in Lagos State, Nigeria. As a Program Coordinator at Lanre Awolokun High School, Gbagada, Lagos State, Nigeria, Busayo organized various programs such as Diversity Day, International Day of the Girl Child, Orange the World Day, which included presentations on sexual and gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, and other activities such as drama performances, panel discussions and presentations of the 17 Goals in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa. She also composed two songs, one of which captured Goal 5: Gender Equality, and the other captured all the 17 Goals in order to create more awareness of the SDGs. Her working group actively sensitized other students within the school on the effects of plastic pollution and were all involved in bagging their plastics for collection meant to be recycled for a token. Busayo’s activities have engaged about 1,710 students in the school.
Colin Ryan is an active Global Schools Advocate who has introduced his role to the school leadership and other teachers in his country using the endorsement letter and/or presentation template. Colin has so far started brainstorming ideas on how to integrate ESD in his classroom activities and other lessons. He has also started to implement ESD activities with his students within the classroom.
Josephine K. Abbey
Josephine Abbey has loved implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into her classroom lessons and all school programs. In her classes, students have created their own presentations to increase awareness of the SDGs and devised solutions to the most pressing problems in their different communities. Students in her third-grade class have jobs ranging from Horticulture Specialist to Environmental Educator. With Josephine’s support, the students have been charged with the responsibility of helping change the school‘s approach. So far, they implemented a school-wide recycling program that is accompanied by presentations on the "Dos and Don’ts". The students have also helped put more plants around the school, and are now working on a school-wide compost program. Josephine’s running club that focuses on the health and well-being of people hosted a Run-a-thon (hosted by a third-grade student who was passionate) that raised $5,000 towards mortgage-free homes. The running club also has a garden that is used by the whole school. Last month, her 1st-4th grade students designed a book stand for the school parade and sold books to raise money for a nonprofit that brings wheelchairs to the Ivory Coast. In one hour students managed to raise $530 for wheelchairs. All of her curriculum is aligned with the Heritage Calendar and SDG goals. This month, students are studying United States history and taking a deeper look at how history has played a role in shaping the world we live in today. The students have done research on slavery and have also worked on posters for SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities. This was done in view of reducing inequality in her home country using the students’ background knowledge of history and looking at the current events. Josephine is so honored to be a part of the Global Schools Program, as it has inspired her to remind her students that each one of them is a change-maker, and it is only through their actions that the world will become a better, more inclusive, and sustainable place.
Kirti Jindal is a Global Schools Advocate who teaches at Green Fields School, New Delhi, India. As an advocate, Ms. Jindal has conducted SDG and ESD workshops for both teachers and students. She planned an interdisciplinary project on SDG 13: Climate Action. The project helped her students to develop different competencies required to be Global Citizens. She also taught her students how to make Bio-enzyme which is a chemical-free floor cleaner in order to reduce the waste generated and reuse old plastic bottles. Ms. Jindal led a discussion on Conventional and Non-Conventional sources of energy and the need to switch over to non Conventional sources of energy. In her history class, she taught about different revolutions after which the students designed posters on 'Say No to War'. In her economics class, she led a discussion on slums and conducted a picture analysis activity. She planned various activities such as speeches, poetry recitations, memes, role plays, and poster making to spread awareness on the issue of Gender Equality, and she also organized a signature campaign within her school on the theme 'Respect All Genders'. Kirti has also compiled the 17 SDGs in the form of a book with a goal to help her students develop into citizens who will work towards "Peace, People, Prosperity and Planet" in partnership with one another.
Nihan Şehsuvaroğlu is a Global Schools Advocate who graduated from Boğaziçi University Faculty of Education in 2003. She has been working with teachers on SDGs and ESD in and out of school, leading the sustainability efforts at Hisar Schools with the title of Global Schools Advocate since August 2021. She is a member of the Science Board of Yuvam Dunya which is an NGO that sets out to change the story of today’s generation in the fight against the climate crisis and aims at transforming every segment of society. Nihan enjoys learning and sharing. She has continued to share about SDGs so that the children and youth of the future, who have a voice to protect and embrace the planet, will understand how important a home is for everyone. She has been working as the Head of the Middle School Science Department at Hisar School and has 19 years of experience in the profession. With a special interest in the use of technology in education, she has been an Apple Professional Learning Specialist since 2013, giving training to teachers and speaking at Apple Leadership events and various conferences on transforming learning with educational technologies. At the same time, by taking part in the Hisar Professional Learning Center Executive Board, she works in the field of planning the professional learning processes of teachers and provides training on both technology integration and planning in teaching. She is also on the Executive Board of Hisar Schools Innovation Center.
Özge Aydemir Kaya
Özge Aydemir Kaya is a middle school science teacher in İstanbul, Turkey who has been passionately interested in Sustainability, SDGs, and their implementation in the schools throughout extracurricular activities for many years now. Since she became a Global Schools Advocate, Özge has been actively working within her school community to give teacher workshops on ESD and SDGs. She has been working with her colleague Nihan Şehsuvaroğlu in all the activity designs and teacher training. She and her colleague have successfully completed giving asynchronous and synchronous teacher training sessions about ESD and SDGs in their school community reaching out to the whole faculty in the K-12 level, with a total of 265 teachers participating in 6 training sessions. Starting with the executive committee of the school, the duo has introduced SDGs and ESD to school leaders asking every teacher to make adjustments in their curriculums and yearly plans to adapt it with ESD and SDGs. At the end of the sessions, they shared all the resources that could be useful to the teachers throughout the year and the years to come. The two Advocates have also been working to disseminate the actions with parents, as well as the school community via social media, school websites, and accounts. They have prepared and installed 3D displays and posters for the school walls and corridors that show all the SDGs and raise awareness.
Also, in her science classes, she has initiated many activities that are focused on SDG 5, 4, 14, 15, 9, 12, 6, 3, and 8. Özge has been an advisor teacher for Middle School’s Global Social Leaders Team for the past 3 years. The Global Social Leaders Competition helps today’s young minds find solutions to overcome the obstacles of the modern world and the inequalities, focusing on SDGs. Also, the theme for Space week was “Women in Space” which was a perfect opportunity for her to cover an SDG topic and implement activities in science lessons that promote SDG 5: Gender Equality. To raise awareness on reducing plastic waste that ends up in the oceans, Özge guided her students to create a basket that is made out of plastic bottles. The students connected this activity with SDG 12 and are planning to send the plastic waste to different recycling centers. After completing the topic of Meiosis, her 7th-grade students conducted a research activity about Down Syndrome and wrote their views on goals 3, 4, and 8 as well as their connections to the individuals with this condition. At the end of the Living Things unit, her 5th-grade students chose the SDGs that could be related to the topic, watched videos about SDG 14 and 15 respectively, and finally, explained and discussed the importance of these SDGs for living things. At least a total of 440 students benefited from all the activities. She believes that it is extremely important to mention the various other activities in pre-K, kindergarten, primary, and high school lessons that require recognition for the students who took part in all the activities and the teachers and faculty who developed them.
As a Global Schools Advocate, Parineeta Sharma has integrated SDGs in her school activities by creating an annual SDG roster to foster the development of Sustainability Competencies among her students that will contribute to their transformation of becoming Sustainability Change-makers. She has also given presentations and taken several initiatives to integrate ESD into her school curriculum. Ms. Sharma has conducted various activities to orient the students about the SDGs and their Targets to critically analyze India's performance on the SDG dashboard.