I have met many Singapore American School students over the years and have always appreciated their participation in the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore as they are hard workers on our shores. After two decades, that’s something like 3,000 American students who have pitched in for the marine environment here. They would have gone on to make a difference in the environment wherever they are in varying degrees as they moved on to colleges in the US and then on to careers and life.
Both the Middle and High Schools of the Singapore American School participate so there are some students who have had a long record of participation. Thus it was with great pleasure that I met a student veteran of SEVEN years!
Tanmaya Kabra accompanied veteran-teacher Martha Began to received the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium Award for the SAS High School’s for 20 years of dedicated service under the enthusiastic supervision of Martha, Steve Early and others. The Middle School which has been led by ICCS founder Kate Thome too received the Symposium Award, which is an acknowledgement by the community to exemplary effort.
This is Tanmaya’s last year in ICCS as he heads off to college but he has told me he will be seeking out the ICC there in the US where it originated. There are programmes in all the states, although getting to a cleanup site could involve a bit more traveling to get there!
Besides being a pioneer in the ICCS, SAS has provided an opportunity for continuity for participation in the programme as highlighted by Tanmaya.
This sort of involvement of experienced students in ICCS to help mentor and supervise others is something we have always encouraged as involving students in planning and execution better prepares them for independent environmental protection effort. And it provides support for overburdened teachers!
In the years ahead, I think we should look into surveying how widely this has been done and actively encourage this.
Well done Tanmaya, and I’ll look forward to your report from the US next year!