Innovative Gift Ideas for the graduating Class of 2015 AKA -QLA Social Forestry for Qatar
What could be a proper gift for boys of 18, when they graduate from high school?
Students and staff of QLA were looking for innovative ideas to celebrate the work and legacy of our current grade 12 students in a meaningful way.
This is when Science &DT department came up with the idea of “ QLA Peace Forest” as a gift to our graduating students. Many of our grade 12 students have been with us for five years or more. We want lasting memories and wanted them to connect with QLA in the future. So decided to plant trees and name them after our graduating students. Each of the 21 graduating students will have a tree in their name.
Students and staff of Qatar Leadership Academy take great pride, in protecting the environment especially in and around Al Khor. Our school plays an active role in cleaning the Al Khor beach; collecting and donating gently used clothes for charity and protecting the environment by planting more trees.
Science &DT Dept. of QLA has taken environmental stewardship as one of the strategic goals for the year 2014-15. This enhances educational experiences and encourages the students to appreciate the diversity in Qatar’s environment by promoting the scientific events like Earth Week.
The ambitious mission of the social forestry project is to organize and motivate people from all walks of life to take part in tree plantation on lands like schoolyards, wastelands, roadsides and other lands owned by government.
We all know that trees cool the air around us and provide us with shade from sun. However, how many of us know that, one large tree can provide a day's supply of oxygen for four people? A tree can be a natural air conditioner. The evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of 10 room size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. Studies have documented that urban vegetation can result in slower heartbeats, lower blood pressure and more relaxed brain wave patterns. Trees have been reported as having a relaxing effect on students studying for exams. Trees can create lasting impression on how a community is perceived by visitors and affect the mood and community pride of its residents.
(Source-College of Agriculture & Life science, NC State University)
Our aim was to make “QLA’s own small forest “. In the first phase, we were planning to plant 40 trees. Grade 11 students have taken the ownership of the program and decided to complete the project as a CAS activity.
The best part of the project was seeing the adults of QLA community (administrators, teachers and other employees) taking pride in getting the forestry project completed. Students succeeded in inspiring the director and the whole administrative team to come out and actively participate in planting trees.
The culminating event took place on 7th May 2015. We planted 40 plants that will grow to bear fruits. All the trees will be named after a person or a department. All grade 12 students were honored in the ceremony as they were all invited to plant their own tree. There will be an Arabic tree, a Math Tree and so on.
We learnt that there are many advantages of Social Forestry. Some of them are,
* Experiential learning for students
* Encourages environmental stewardship and love for environment.
* Beautification of school campus
* Tress can be named after people. Trees will be planted to celebrate the work and success of our current grade 12 students
* Lasting memory for students and staff
* Students get CAS hours-a requirement for IB
We will miss the current grade 12 students. We wish them the great success in their future endeavors.