Green Club Leads Day of Climate Action
Led by the efforts of the M'KIS Green Club, we strive to promote environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly practices at M'KIS.
On Friday, September 25, hand-painted signs promoting climate justice popped up on the M'KIS campus as part of the M'KIS Green Club's efforts to draw attention to this important day. The hand-painted signs are an important reminder that the future of a healthier, greener planet is up to all of us.
As part of their efforts to step up for a brighter climate future, the M'KIS Green Club also put together 5 simple "Green Tips" that anyone can implement. By making small, individual changes to our habits, we can have an incredible collective impact on our campus, our homes, and our planet.
Read on for easy ways you can ensure we keep our planet green for generations to come!
Conservation Week 2020: Taking Care of our Collective Home, Planet Earth
Read on for ideas on how to help the planet, while staying home.
This year's M’KIS Conservation Week is going to be special for many reasons. Not only will we be spending this week at home, but it’s also the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Despite not being able to mark the occasion together, the M'KIS Green Club is committed to making it a memorable and impactful week.
Every year, M’KIS organizes Conservation Week in conjunction with other Earth Day events that take place all around the world.
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22nd, 1970, when twenty million people in the United States took to the city streets and college campuses to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into force.
Earth Day is a day when people from all over the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery that we need to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future.
Today, we might be limited to the confines of our homes, but our actions still matter. To honor Earth Day’s 50th anniversary and M’KIS Conservation Week, we ask you to join the Green Club in our efforts to spread awareness in one of the following ways:
We look forward to seeing your photos, messages, and green initiatives. Together we can make a difference to our environment and the future of this planet. We hope that despite all the challenges and the limitations of social distancing, Conservation Week 2020 is a memorable one.
Lastly, to prove to you how much our actions impact our environment, we would like to send a message of hope. Here is an article by two of our M'KIS Green Club members about the impact that the measures taken to fight the present pandemic have had on our environment.
To learn more about the history of Earth Day and participate in one of the many virtual events that will take place during the next few days, visit www.earthday.org/earth-day-2020/.
Student Feature - Joanne, Grade 8
Student Feature - Joining M’KIS in Kindergarten and now in Grade 8, Joanne has been drawn to the water since she was 3 years old. Her training regime is intense, with pool sessions at least 6 times a week. Joanne has been competing in swimming since the age of 8. In a recent competition, she took home 4 silver medals and 3 bronze medals. Her goal is to be a state and national swimmer one day, with the ultimate goal of competing in the Olympics.
Joanne is a soft-spoken student who does not like to draw attention to herself. When asked why she loves swimming so much, one of her reasons was “Swimming takes my mind off school and helps me cope with daily stresses.” Her favorite class at school is strings. Next year, Joanne will qualify to play on the Junior Varsity Volleyball team, something she is looking forward to.
The M’KIS Community would like to wish Joanne all the best for her future endeavors. You can achieve anything you put your mind towards.
The Importance of Play - A Parent’s Perspective
Written by Saana Pietilä - Mont'Kiara International School Parent
Why play is important to me
I come from Finland, where kids play until they start school at the age of seven. Their first two years of school are only four hours long, and every 45-minutes, there is a 15-minute play break. The Finnish education system is currently regarded as one of the leading systems in the world.
Children don't see playing as learning; it is just something that comes naturally to them. It is a part of living and how they perceive the world. When kids play, they develop a sense of themselves and others.
This made me curious about how much playtime my kids have during the day. My kids have been at M’KIS for four and a half years and I recently landed an internship at M’KIS, which opened the door for me to observe the classroom in action. As a parent, I had a very different perspective of what actually happened in the classroom and was pleasantly surprised at what I found out. My experience below is focused on kindergarten.
One thing I learned is that purposeful play is used extensively by M’KIS teachers. Teachers provide students with various options regarding what they can play. An example of this is where, during playtime, students built a house for animals and were given creative freedom about how they did this. Students saw this as playtime, but, in reality, they were learning social, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills through play. Additionally, they were also learning about animal habitats. I watched in awe as the teachers guided their students in the right direction and encourage them to ask questions along the way. It was a fun way to learn.
“I invite my students to learn.” - M’KIS Kindergarten Teacher.
When students are provided choices, they are more creative, open-minded, and curious. I witnessed an example of this when students were shown paper and pencils on a table and asked, “what can we do with these?”. The teacher knew that she wanted them to make a book, but she wanted the students to come to that conclusion by themselves and was interested in the ideas they would come up with as alternatives.
Regular recess and free play time provide students with another opportunity to practice their social and emotional skills, without them even realizing it. This is a safe zone for them to see where the limits are, explore various interactions, and, most importantly, make mistakes. This type of play allows them to learn how to independently overcome difficult situations and work through their feelings
It was an eye-opening experience for me. I learned that my kids play much more than I realized. Just looking at the timetable did not provide me with the entire picture. It may not be free play all the time, but they do play. Even though, as a Finnish parent, I will always want my kids to have more playtime, the most important thing for me is that they are happy and that they want to go to school. It is a pleasure to pick my kids up in the afternoon and to see the smiles on their faces.
“Play gets kids ready for learning, teaches them how to pay attention, and how to play well with others. When parents and teachers have fun, the kids fun too!” - Saana Pietila - Proud M’KIS Parent.
Nurturing Creativity and Building Community During COVID-19
It's in times like these that our creativity shines. As a school that prides itself on community, M'KIS proudly celebrate accomplishments from all members of our community, including M'KIS parents. One of our M'KIS parents, Sukhada, recently wrote a moving piece about her family's journey during the global pandemic. Read on for her personal story and some insights.
You can read the article here: https://bit.ly/2Xm3W3i
Drawing inspiration from her personal life, Sukhada writes about how she believes COVID-19 affects us as a community. During this time of uncertainty, she is grateful for a life of abundance and particularly for her little boy, who keeps a smile on his face and his spirits high through these trying times.
She also has a message for the M'KIS community during this time:
"I am always impressed at how the teachers at M'KIS have consistently echoed a message of being environmentally conscientious and thoughtful towards each other through the various class lessons and activities they plan for our children. I hope we allow our children ambassadors to recommend small changes in each of our family's lives so we can be more conscientious towards each other and our planet moving forward. It will be in these small acts that we can begin to see change."
Student Feature - Adam Swims for a Cause
We sat down with Adam, a Grade 10 student and swimmer at M’KIS, to learn a little more about what motivates him.
Starting at 8 years old and competing in his first national championship at the age of eleven, Adam is an exceptional swimmer with an impressive amount of national medals to his name. But winning is not what drives Adam ; it’s more important to him that he continues to improve his personal best times, stays healthy, and grows as a person. To achieve these goals, Adam trains 6 days per week, sometimes twice in one day! At Adam's last swim competition in Australia in December, he won 9 medals. His humility is admirable and something that draws people to him.
As a 10th grader, Adam has to complete an IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) Personal Project. He has chosen to use his strength as a swimmer and to find sponsors to earn money for a charity that is dear to his heart, the Hope Foundation in KL. From October 4 to January 31, Adam will be asking for donations for every kilometer he swims. He is calling his project Adam’s Autism Awareness Aquathalon. If you are interested in supporting Adam’s cause, please contact Ms. Schmidt.
National Honor Society Induction Ceremony
On November 12th, seven M’KIS high school students were inducted as members of the National Honor Society. Founded in 1921, the National Honor Society is a US-based organization that celebrates selective students who have demonstrated high academic achievement, leadership abilities and service to the community. According to the NHS website, there are over 1 million students worldwide who participate in their school-based chapters. NHS is guided by four principles: Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character. These four principles help shape the purpose of the club community which is to further each student’s inherent leadership potential as involved citizens.
At M’KIS, students in grades 10-12 are initially invited to apply to join the club based on a cumulative GPA of 3.7. Interested students complete a personal informational form which highlights their academics, extracurricular involvement and outside service activities. A committee of faculty members, along with Principal Alan Shanks, reviews each informational form and applies a rubric of criterion to select the new members. Based on the criterion, the committee selected the following inductees:
As new members, they will join famous former NHS members such as talk show comedian/political commentator Jon Stewart, journalist Katie Couric, Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep and M’KIS’ own Head of School, Mr. Laboski. Alongside current members, they will serve the M’KIS community in events such as free tutoring sessions on Wednesdays, bi-annual Parents Night Out, and the “Sea of Pink” Anti-Bullying Week. On behalf of the greater M’KIS community, I’d like to commend them for this great accomplishment.