Dr. Jane Goodall founded Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots in 1991 with a mission to give young people resources and support to make positive change in their communities. Through Roots & Shoots, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world are inspired and empowered to make a difference. As we celebrate Dr. Jane’s 82nd birthday and 25 years of Roots & Shoots in 2016, I am very proud to be one of those youth!
I became involved with Roots & Shoots when I was in the seventh grade, and have since led four successful projects. My first project, Monarchs and Milkweeds, was aimed towards raising awareness about the plight of the monarch butterfly. I was able to fundraise $100 for the Monarch Butterfly Fund. Another of my projects, Lyme 2 Long, was aimed towards raising awareness about Lyme Disease. I was able to raise money for ILADS, an organization that focuses on finding a cure for Lyme Disease, as well as training doctors in the field. One of my current projects is called Cover by Cover, and my goal is to promote literacy in children and families of low income. Through this project, I have been able to donate over 1,200 books to a local Head Start program.
As a member of Roots & Shoots, I love knowing that I am not alone. One Roots & Shoots member that I know of has come up with a unique approach to help save the chimpanzees. She is selling compost bags in her community, and the proceeds will be put towards the cost of becoming a chimpanzee guardian. Another Roots & Shoots group, inspired by Dr. Jane, is holding a Healthy Kids Day event in their community. The event will consist of booths and activities promoting healthy, sustainable eating and physical activity. There will even be someone dressed up as Dr. Jane reading some of her children’s books. This is a terrific method to inspire kids to lead sustainable and healthy lifestyles.
Young people around the world are making positive impacts in their communities and beyond. Members of Roots & Shoots are driven to be successful, and they are passionate about their projects. The time and effort that my peers put toward their projects inspires me to do the same. Their passion is contagious! I constantly find myself inspired by their enthusiasm and concern for people, animals, and the environment.
Like all of the youth following in Dr. Jane’s footsteps you, too, can make positive change in your community! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Join Roots & Shoots
Roots & Shoots is a great place to start when beginning a community campaign. Roots & Shoots can provide resources, ideas, and support to successfully complete a project. Plus, Roots & Shoots is free! Sign up here.
Create A Community Map
Community mapping is a process that will allow you to identify community needs in your area and choose a service campaign to address those needs. It’s fun and easy! You can find more information about community mapping at www.rootsandshoots.org/mapping.