Roots & Shoots was founded by Jane Goodall, DBE in 1991 with the goal of bringing together youth from preschool to university, age to work on environmental, conservation and humanitarian issues. The organization has local chapters in over 140 countries with over 8000 local groups worldwide that involve nearly 150,000 youth.[unreliable source?] Many of the chapters operate through schools and other organizations. Participants are encouraged to identify and work on problems in their own communities affecting people, animals, or the environment. Charity Navigator has awarded Roots & Shoots and its parent non-profit organization, the Jane Goodall Institute, its highest four-star rating for accountability and transparency, with 78.1% of its expenses going directly to programs.
|Focus||Environmentalism, Conservation, Humanitarianism|
|Origins||Dar es Salaam, Tanzania|
|Method||Community action, service projects, youth-led campaigns, networking youth|
Roots & Shoots was founded in 1991, when Dr. Goodall started to give talks at local schools in Tanzania. A group of 12 of her students selected by their classmates met with her at her home to discuss their local environmental concerns and to figure out what they could do. These 12 students became the first members of Roots & Shoots, and the organization grew from there. Of the original 12 students, one went on to serve as the minister of environment for Tanzania and another became the Roots & Shoots' national director for Tanzania.
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The Roots & Shoots curriculum is a learning program for teachers and other community leaders to use with students and young people to help them develop environmental, conservationist and humanitarian programs to improve their communities. It is intended that through service projects, students develop a sense of service and leadership in their own communities. The curriculums are split into elementary, middle and high school lesson plans. The program encourages young people to create projects that support campaigns. Roots & Shoots provides resources about how to integrate these projects into the local community. A major tenet of the Roots & Shoots model is to use science and technology to map out community needs in order to find the places in a community where a campaign or service projects can help people, animals, or the environment. Roots & Shoots also uses technology to train club leaders through its online course, Turning Learners into Leaders: Empowering Youth Through Service Innovation. The professional development course provides community leaders with training on community mapping, fostering leadership in young people, collaborating with community stakeholders, and guiding young leaders towards practical solutions for community campaigns.
There are active Roots & Shoots branches in at least 27 countries, with offices in Abu Dhabi, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Canada, Columbia, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Puerto Rico, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
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