What is Roots & Shoots? Service Learning at Its Best

For the past 6 years (and an additional 6 years when I was in the public school), I have coordinated a Roots & Shoots club for my kiddos.  Roots & Shoots is the Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program.  It is a powerful, youth-driven, global network of tens of thousands of members in more than 120 countries.

Together, youth from pre-K through college take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.  I love the concept of Roots & Shoots and have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this organization.

Care packages for our service men and women on Veteran’s Day

The projects and activities in which Roots & Shoots groups take part are as diverse as the groups themselves.  The membership requirements are minimal, the coordinator’s handbook states that groups must:

  • plan and implement at least one on-going community service project each year;
  • address at least one of the three Roots & Shoots  themes: the environment, animals and the human community;
  • submit an activity report to the Roots & Shoots national office at least twice each year; and
  • pay the membership fee and update their contact information annually.

Interpretive sign benefiting our community wildlife

To receive a Certificate of Recognition and be considered an “active group” you must:

  • plan and implement service projects that cover all three Roots & Shoots themes.  This could mean one of two things:
    • plan at least 3 different projects a year that address care and concern for the environment, care and concern for animals and care and concern for the community;
    • plan one or two larger projects that cover more than one of the major themes.  Some groups focus on one year-long project that addresses all three themes.
  • submit at least 3 activity reports and a year-long portfolio.

We have earned a Certificate of Recognition each year and look forward to someday taking part in the leadership programs. We hope to someday also attend a Roots & Shoots summit whereby we can meet other groups.

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

2 comments on “What is Roots & Shoots? Service Learning at Its Best

  1. We face the same problem. 3 boys, 2 girls age differences. We would be gone more than home if we tried to join Scouts, but I really enjoyed the experience when I was younger. Our state has a Pioneer club – but it’s largely on an individual basis. Perhaps I should try to start a group so many families could get involved – you’ve given me something to think about.

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