GBM Blog

Hummingbirds Around the World Inspired by Wangari Maathai's Work

August 11, 2013 - 10:30PM
Published by Lauren Berger

Wangari Maathai wanted everyone to get involved with environmental activities in their own communities and to "Be a Hummingbird". 

Earlier in the year students of Leicester Preparatory school in the UK performed a Hummingbird play for Prince Charles at a special memorial for Wangari Maathai in London. 

Now we have some great news from students in the US. The students of Room 17 of John Lyman School in Middlefield, Connecticut and the students from Brooklyn New School in New York are no exception.  They show there are lots of ways children and adults can be hummingbirds wherever you live.   

Hummingbirds at John Lyman School in Connecticut 

After reading Wangari's Trees of Peace the first grade students of Room 17 became inspired by the Green Belt Movement's work and decided they wanted to contribute as well.  Their letter, written by the students themselves, tells all:

Dear Green Belt Movement,John Lyman Elementary School Student Drawing

This money is for you from Room 17 in John Lyman School.  We got inspired because we read the book Wangari's Trees of Peace.  You guys did so much good work, this is how we would like to thank you.  We are happy you are helping trees so much.  When we found out about the movement, we all wanted to help too!  We all brought in money around Christmas.  We raised a lot of money in coins and dollars.  Then we immediately thought about making ornaments.  Everybody loved the ornaments.  We ended up with lots of money just for you.

We are sending you one of each type of ornament, a picture we drew, and a check.

Keep up the inspiring work!


The students of Room 17

Jenna, Norah, Kaitlyn, Hannah, Katie, Jacqueline, Travis, Andrew, Colin, Marie, Kieran, Ayden, Ava, Joshua, Sulliva, Carter, Emily, Benjamin, Abby, Mrs. Sibiskie and Miss Hamblet

In addition, these students planted seven maple seedlings and a variety of tree seeds they had collected throughout the year on their school's nature path.  They will care for these seedlings over the next year and will continue to be Hummingbirds with the help of their teachers and school community.  

The students of Room 17, also sent us a beautiful drawing of Wangari Maathai planting trees.  We hope their desire to help the environment will continue for a lifetime!

Hummingbirds at Brooklyn New School in New York

Brooklyn New School Third Graders, in Brooklyn, New York became inspired to host a Craft-A-Thon (pictured) after studying Africa in class.  They researched endangered animals and read about the proactive environmental work of Wangari Maathai, learning about the connection between a healthy earth and humans' needs.

The students proposed to raise money by hosting a Craft-A-Thon, where all students in the school could learn crafts from third graders teaching workshops.  Each class in the school raised as much money so they could make a donation when they visited the third graders' Craft-A-Thon.  The students split their donations between the Green Belt Movement and the Wildlife Conservation Society and now see that the benefits of planting trees not only positively effect humans, but also help protect animals and the environment in which we all live.

We are so proud of Brooklyn New School third graders and all of the children who are being hummingbirds throughout the world for taking the initiative to embody Wangari Maathai's vision and for making a difference.