Let's start summer with energy saving!


In April and May 2021, teachers and some active students of Gymnasium № 1 of the Bryansk district of the Bryansk region organized open lessons - presentations of the SPARE program for some  new students. These lessons will help many schoolchildren to become active participants of energy saving programs, combating pollution of the planet during the summer holidays. The teenagers will be able to start working on their first projects on energy saving and climate protection in summer camps and in their families.

Gymnasium No. 1 of the Bryansk district of the Bryansk region has been actively working in  the SPARE program since 2010. This is a huge merit of the head staff of the Gymnasium: Valentina Yakushenko, Nataliya  Zaytzeva and many others.

For 11 years the students and teachers have completed many interesting projects, created their own SPARE Center, develop methodological recommendations, conduct partnership trips to exchange experience with SPARE schools in Bulgaria, Belarus, Kazakhstan. The online exchange of experience,  drawings, videos is carried  with teachers and schoolchildren in Nigeria, Bulgaria, the USA. Environmental scientists from Australia, USA, Germany, Bulgaria, Belarus came to this gymnasium  to get acquainted with the bright, interesting, multifaceted activities of their students on innovative methods of saving energy, resources and monitoring the regional climate.

In 2011 Marina Shelkunova, the English teacher , was recommended for the participation in the International Open World Program for active activity on SPARE in the region. She successfully passed the competition and went in a group of environmentalists for a whole month in the United States to exchange experience with American politicians, schools, NGOs. Until now, American scientists have sent their new books on ecology Gymnasium № 1 to study and translate them in English lessons.

In 2021 the gymnasium teachers decided to remind each student about the new stages of the SPARE program during summer months. They started  a series of lesson presentations on April 22, 2021: on the International Earth Day. On this spring day, the gymnasium teachers help schoolchildren pay attention to the problems of the planet and think through their environmental plans for the summer. The theme of this year's Earth Day Campaign is "Renew Our Earth". The  SPARE activities constantly call on every child, every family and school to preserve and restore local ecosystems, to prevent pollution of soil, water and air by anthropogenic waste. The gymnasium teaches, children and adults do this daily, using modern achievements of science, education, civic initiatives.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic limited the gymnasium l opportunities. Instead of holding bright school-wide actions, teachers held separate events for each class.

The headmaster of the Gymnasium, Valentina Yakushenko,  organized  the creative process in the classes of the school literary . The students wrote thematic poems and even ditties for performances of their propaganda teams and future projects.

Nataliya Zaytzeva. conducted some tours for students of grades 5-7 to the Laboratory of Climate Monitoring, which was created directly in the Gymnasium. The laboratory receives saws and cores (spot small samples of wood) of local trees from local forestry. The students study the methods of dendroclimatology and learn to "read" annual tree rings, study past indicators of the local climate, and predict future changes. The annual rings perfectly show the years when and what level of chemical pollution these trees received through soil, water and air.

Marina Shelkunova, the English teacher,  introduced the new books, published by the SPARE program in 2021 to more than 50 schoolchildren These are books on the following  topics: 1. Climate Envoys; 2. School Climate Plan; 3.Diplomatics (role-playing game on climate negotiations); 4. Climatic school (based on retreat camps). In addition to the books of the SPARE program, students began to get acquainted with a new book in English, which the Gymnasium received as a gift from American professor Joanna Macy "A Wild Love for the World."

Each theoretical climatic lesson at the Gymnasium ends with a tour around the educational building: students constantly analyze the implementation of the activities of their own school climatic plan.

The constant, diverse, deep activity of the Gymnasium in the SPARE project have already born fruit to the microdistrict. Enterprises, land holdings, public places of use of residents try to determine and adhere to the optimal balance of resources and energy.

Authors: Lyudmila S. Zhirina, Valentina I. Yakushenko

Translator: Marina A. Shelkunova

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