Sarawak Humanities, Arts, & Recreation for the Environment
Organized by: Cassandra Romanowski
EVENT DATE Oct 17, 2015
WHAT: S.H.A.R.E. Fair: A community fair for Sarawak Humanities, Arts, and Recreation for the Environment
WHERE: SMK Bau, Sarawak, Borneo Malaysia
WHEN: Saturday, October 17th, 2015. 8:30AM-11:00PM++
WHO: Run by students; Open to everyone
WHY: To showcase the significance of environmental arts education and getting students out into the National Parks!
For the past 2 years, I have been teaching English to secondary school students in Malaysia. Due to the intense exam-centric school culture here, I battle more with student’s confidence than I do with their actual grammar. My solution to this has been simple: get them outside. Incorporating the arts and humanities with environmental education and taking them to the National Parks (and out of their comfort zone), has helped students learn to take risks without fear of failure. Their English levels improve, as well as their empathy for the environment. It’s a win-win!
After 2 years of this nature-based curriculum, I have decided to host a community fair at my school to showcase my student’s work. It is my hope that the fair will allow students and the community to collaborate on environmental issues in the community, as well as to *SHARE* traditional Bidayuh culture (which is slowly being lost due to modernization). We are inviting some locally influential political members to the event in hopes of helping promote the success of students in the National Parks!
Some activities include: a free flea market (where community members can bring unwanted items and clothes and trade with others), tree planting/seedlings for sale, traditional music and dance performances, student band performances, local venders selling Bidayuh crafts, bead workshop, blowpipe workshop and competition, basket-weaving workshop, blood donation drive, traditional tattoo showcase, arts and writing competition, and a local art gallery.
We need money to help fund: student-run food stalls, t-shirts, prizes for the arts and writing competition, advertising, music performances, karaoke, games, up-cycling station, photo booth, and art exhibition.
All proceeds from the fair will be channeled back to the students as an “Environmental English Fund” to help start a recycling program at the school, as well as funding future English Camps in the local National Parks.
Note: Most of my activities this year were made possible thanks to grant money from Sandy Hollow Arts and Recreation for the Environment, or better known as S.H.A.R.E. Festival in central Pennsylvania. The title of this community fair is an ode to the generosity and kindness granted to me by the wonderful members of the S.H.A.R.E. community. You helped me make my dreams come true and have truly changed the lives of my students. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.