Influencer Maya Mathias from GreenKidz
The Greenkidz movement
Maya Mathias is a writer and teacher. With Ivonne Zegveld, a professional designer, they wanted to make a difference and use their talents to inspire the youth and the teachers and help change the mindset of generations. In 2015 they founded ‘GeenKidz’, a program that inspires children in the primary and secondary schools of Curaçao, through educational activities and learning materials, to take better care of their environment.
GreenKidz started this year with a very special event: Three first-year students of the Teachers Training for Elementary Education “Leerkrachten van het funderend onderwijs (LOFO)” received the 1st GreenTeachers Caribbean Award.
The award was presented to Saviani Kartowidjojo, Judyrey Franken and Gilianny Martina.
They won the award for the best instructional film in Papiamentu about the concepts: “Reduce. Reuse & Recycle” which they made for GreenKidz free environmental education in Curaçao.
This practical assignment was part of the broader GreenKidz LOFO project module: “Man, Nature and Technology”. Maya: “We target students from primary and secondary schools, but wanted to reach the new generation of teachers as well to be really sustainable. So we joined forces with the University of Curaçao to develop an innovative program for teachers in training.
We introduced these young teachers to many local environmental organizations, and our GreenKidz program asked them to enrich our training materials with short videos explaining the term “Reduce. Reuse & Recycle” to young children and we were amazed how talented these new generation teachers were. We’ve started sharing the videos on Facebook.com/ greenkidzcuracao and will use these videos in our Greenkidz schools.”
Talking about 21st century education
In the LOFO project, Maya worked with Mieke Hutshorn whom is specialized in 21st century teaching methods. We asked Maya to share one or more useful lessons learned from working with Mieke? Maya is very enthusiastic: ”I would say; visit her classroom, see how she teaches. I was blown away and I am a great fan of hers. My own son had her as a teacher for 2 years and I saw the impact. How he grew and flourished and started to think so creatively and deeply about the world around him. She uses lots of modern education concepts like: whole brain training, thinking acting and sharing, mirroring and pairing up and lots of experimenting and energy and movement in the class. She is much more about offering children stimulating and confronting learning experiences than teaching them in a traditional, classical way.”
The progress made since 2015 till now
Maya is very happy with the progress of GreenKidz and the activities: “In the meanwhile, our team has grown to 40 active team members and we have reached thousands of children and about 35 primary and secondary schools with our program.” The goals of GreenKidz for the long and midterm is to offer every child in Curaçao free and modern and inspiring environmental education. Maya: “Schools are very enthusiastic about what we do and how we do it. Every school we visit, we offer instruction workshops for the teachers to stimulate them to use our educational materials as they see fit and to share how we work using lots of interactive and collaborative teaching techniques. If we had the funds, we could reach every school on the island within two years. And we are working hard on that.” In this context it is important to know that there are 50 primary and 23 secondary schools on Curaçao and they have reached 35 which is about 50 %.
Right now Maya and Ivonne are working on a schoolbook ‘Limpi Korsou’ with lots of colorful drawings and tips and a bundle of letters, written by students (among them three on the picture) to our Prime Minister and his team of ministers on environmental problems and solutions. Maya would like to spread their wings with their program to more island in the Dutch Caribbean. Also they see possibilities to develop multilingual education programs for governments, foundations and company on many more subjects concerning the environment, health, nature and safety for example climate change, green energy, zika, the circular economy.
Connecting dots and aligning efforts
Maya: “We believe in innovation, teamwork and collaboration. We want everybody to feel welcome and add value to our cause ‘Changing the mindset of generations’. Many organizations are passionate about changing Curaçao for the better, and I think we should join forces wherever we can. So indeed inviting others to join and sharing experiences is what we actively seek to do.”
One of the 250 Influencers
The core group of Share2Uplift is in total alignment with the GreenKidz movement as an excellent example of 21st century teaching methods and content, but also an example on how to connect dots and align efforts. Visit http://greenkidz.org/ for more information.