Houston Zoo has messages about conservation both in the zoo buildings and outside in the public spaces that relate to the animals we care for! Houston Zoo Education Department conducts education programs for all ages. A program is where an educator or naturalist may show and talk about live animals, or point out important aspects at exhibits, and present brief talks illustrated with slides, films and also sometimes offer summer day-camp programs for children. The last weekend of January was a week where the voice of conservation got louder, a weekend where message of conservation went out to the young minds. Renee – Conservation Programs Manager, Martha – Conservation Education Coordinator and I did two presentations about conservation to groups of teens. We educated and inspired the teens to become part of our commitment to celebrate, study, and care for wildlife and their habitats. Thanks to the education team for giving us the chance to contribute to their great work.
The voice of conservation stayed strong on the following week when David Brady, the Houston Zoo’s Chief Marketing Officer, and I drove to Green Pine Elementary School. We reached the school around 11:30 am and went straight in school reception, where we received with a warm welcome from Diane (teacher). Then we were lead through a corridor to one of the classrooms. I was impressed by the look, there were pictures of wildlife and plants on the walls on each side, stars hanging from the roof along the corridor, it looked natural, I felt like I was in a magic kingdom!! What amazed me most was the attendance of 70 preteens for the presentation!! David gave an excellent, well organized, fascinating and very constructive presentation that related to the mind of young people! I am optimistic his presentation had impressed the kids about the world around them. He is a great speaker and I learned a lot from him that day that I will cherish!
I gave a presentation after David, that had a similar message and I presented on the similarity of animals in the zoo to animals in the wild. I was trying to captivate the imagination of the children and lead them into conservation. I wanted to encourage students to become ambassadors of their rich environment. It is the same message we give at Save The Elephants in Kenya, during our education program. We visit schools and the community and show films and presentations on conservation. We know that we need to encourage everyone to join us in the wildlife saving journey.
The Houston Zoo is excited to welcome a new intern who comes to us all the way from Kenya, in East Africa. Sabinga is in the United States participating in the Community College Initiative Program (CCIP). The Community College Initiative Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Northern Virginia Community College onbehalf of the Community College Consortium (CCC) in partnership with Houston Community College. While participating in this program, he will join us at the zoo as an intern to learn all about what a modern-day zoo is like! Sabinga is already part of the conservation community as he has been working with Save the Elephants in Kenya for over 8 years. He will be documenting his experiences at the Zoo and we will share his thoughts with you here on our blog! Stay tuned for more!