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General News · 26th March 2015
Alma
Forest Alphabet School Tour, Spring 2015

Cortes to Saltspring Island

A resounding chorus of frog song and wolf calls to the many individuals who made the Children’s Forest first school tour a huge success – Ashe & Sabina for vision & fruition, Meinsje & Connie for puppetry expertise & theatre direction, Mary & Sarah for organization support, AND especially to the ten outstanding youth who diligently rehearsed and carried the story of the Children’s Forest to Saltspring Island!!!

The Children’s Forest tribe took their puppet extravaganza and forest rap to six schools on Saltspring, March 2-5, and performed for over 5oo students in total. The troupe visited Saltspring Centre School, Fulford Elementary, Saltspring Island Middle School, Fernwood Elementary, Phoenix School, and Saltspring Elementary School. Each school offered a unique setting, audience, and opportunity for theatrical learning, and was gifted a copy of the book, ‘Forest Alphabet’ for their school library. Following each performance, the Forest Alphabet youth chatted with school students, showing their puppetry skills, and cultivating a network of youth speaking out for the natural world.

The Cortes youth explored some of Saltspring’s lovely beaches and parks, and had the amazing opportunity to visit Robert Bateman in his home and studio. Robert Bateman has been a long-time supporter of the Children’s Forest – he contributed a written dedication to ‘Forest Alphabet’, took a group of artists into the Children’s Forest, and gifted a piece of art to the Artist’s Journey art auction.

Please read a full account of the tour, written by Alma, budding writer and co-star in
the Children’s Forest promotional video of 4 years ago. Go to Youth Initiatives at: http://www.corteschildrensforesttrust.org/

Absolute highlights/impressions from the forest tribe (as collected by Katie and collated by Alma:

Ashe – getting to know everyone, becoming a team, and realizing what it takes to pull off a trip like this;
Aislin - going to see Robert Bateman and getting a tour of his house
Ilo – eating too many marshmallows, performing in general, playing on the beach;
Makawi – loved Mount Maxwell;
Marion – visiting Mr. Bateman, learning how to work as a group, having fun on the beach;
Sequoia wants to go AGAIN!;
Mary – creating relationships, supporting each other, watching the children learn, grow and succeed;
Lilly – becoming a team, going to Mr. Bateman’s house;
Laara – performing at Fernwood Elementary;
Katie – eating way too many marshmallows;

Khalil – going to Saltspring Island, playing at the beach;
Alma – was fantastic to finally get to Saltspring, loved all the performances and learned so much about group dynamics, and would love to go again.
Sabina left us with a haiku that summarizes the trip:

We’re standing as one
Speaking out for the forests
With hearts wide open