Green Cross Japan implemented an environmental education project for school children in 2020. Despite the difficulties posed by the global pandemic, the project has been a success and will continue into 2021.
Japanese student filling out her workbook for the Green Lane Diary
There is no denying that COVID-19 brought challenges to getting this project off the ground in 2020. Thankfully, Green Cross Japan (GCJ) was able to address pandemic-related concerns while providing primary school students with environmental education through the Green Lane Diary project.
The pandemic impacted educational settings and standards, causing temporary school closures, staggered attendance policies and online classes. And yet, the number of students who engaged in the Green Lane Diary was very comparable with previous years.
In 2020, a total of 99,332 students kept diaries for a period of two months. The Green Lane Diary included learning about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and completing eco-conscious exercises. Because of the increase in time spent at home, the environmental activities had an in-home focus more so than in previous years.
During a typical school year, the students are given a Diary which has the space for them to complete three months of entries. However, with consideration for the difficulties in schooling caused by the pandemic, this May, the students were only required to complete their Diaries for two months. The submission deadline for the Green Lane Diary contest is in the middle of September, the prize winners are selected in October, and the award ceremony takes place in December. However, with consideration to infection prevention, the in-person award ceremony was canceled this past year. Instead, Green Cross Japan published a ‘digest book’ of contest-winners’ works and distributed this to all students involved.
While the uncertainty about the pandemic is still looming, the environmental Green Lane Diary project will continue into 2021. 100,000 Green Lane Diaries will be delivered to primary schools throughout Japan in May. Providing children with environmental education is vital, especially during these difficult times. Green Cross is grateful to be able to continue their work of spreading awareness and providing hope for the future.