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Let the Crested Ibis fly high again in the sky of Sado!

All-grade program - Gyouya Elementary School, Sado city, Niigata

2008


We live on the Sado Island, home of the crested Ibis. From late 50's or early 60's, Gyouya Elementary School has protected birds. The school worked on bird watching and birdhouse building in the woods near the school. In late 60's and early 70's it was the only school in Japan that took care and raised an injured crested Ibis. We are happy to introduce you our project: Let the Crested Ibis fly high again in the sky of Sado!

April: We are the Crested Ibis Specialists!

The Crested Ibis Park is next to the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center.

We held a Crested Ibis workgroup gathering at Crested Ibis Park. We sang our school's song for the Crested Ibis, written by the older kids, and read a poem praying for the Crested Ibis to come back to the big sky, again. We also raised money during the school year and gave it to the Director of the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center. The 3rd graders through 6th graders are the Crested Ibis specialists and explained about the Crested Ibis to the visitors. The 5th and 6th graders picked up litter in the park and the younger 1st and 2nd graders learned about feed and necessary environment for the Crested Ibis from the staff of the Conservation Center.

Let's learn about the Crested Ibis! (From the specialists)
We, the Crested Ibis specialists, explain to tourists what we have learned, like how the Crested Ibis lives and what they need to return to the wild. We also try to answer your questions! We also get together with other elementary school kids who visit the Sado Island for school trips. We played as specialists in many places: the Crested Ibis Park filled with visitors during summer vacation, and also in front of Niigata station.

When fall rolls around, in come the Crested Ibis!

June: Let's check out waterside creatures!

Every year, we check out the creatures living near water, like a river and rice paddy in our school district. By looking at the work the older kids did, we know what creatures are disappearing, including those the Crested Ibis need for food. Because the Crested Ibis will be released into the wild in fall this year, we checked the biotope to see how much food is left for wild Crested Ibis around the place near the release site.

September: There flies the Crested Ibis!

The day has finally come! For the first time in 27 years, the Crested Ibis comes back to the sky of Japan. Crested Ibises raised by the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center will be released into the wild.
On the day before the release, Prince and Princess Akishinomiya attending the release ceremony came to take a look at our biotope. The 4th graders made a presentation about waterside creatures to the prince and princess.
The whole school was at the release ceremony. The 5th and 6th graders sang 'Gyouya Elementary School's Song for the Crested Ibis' to encourage Crested Ibises to fly high in the sky.

Our parents and people of the community came to the school fair.

Here's what we found!

At the school fair in October, the 3rd and 4th graders made a presentation on what they examined during the hours for integrated learning, what they learned from the older kids and what Gyouya School is working on. They acted in skits and displayed panels to explain their work.
Big news! The school also presented the work in the national wildlife preservation conference as the representative of Niigata Prefecture, and won Environment Ministry Award.

From the school to parents and other adults  Outline of the activitiesGyouya Elementary School, Sado city, Niigata

Gyouya Elementary School started Wild bird protection activity from around late 50's or early 60's. We once raised a saved Crested Ibis on the school grounds. Such tradition has been passed from the older kids to the younger kids through the years, naturally developing a warm feeling for nature and the Crested Ibis.
The School is hoping that the kids will learn how the entire environment should be for humans and animals through the Crested Ibis, a familiar animal to the School. Currently, kids are working on a pesticide-free rice growing project. A pesticide-free rice paddy is ideal for the Crested Ibis, which however is not easy to develop. The school wishes that the kids will experience themselves the difficulties of pesticide-free rice growing as well as the diversity of the creatures living in the rice paddies, which shall give them opportunities to think about the coexistence of nature and humans.

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