Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Benjamin Kay

Jane Goodall Meets With Santa Monica High Students at Environmental Charter Schools in Lawndale

I said, "Say ALGAEEE on three - one, two-" Dr Jane interrupted, "No, say chimpanZEE!"


Jane Goodall among the homo sapien females at Santa Monica High School.

SaMoHi students were very excited to meet and present their science and sustainability projects to JG yesterday at Environmental Charter Schools in Lawndale, CA. Ten schools were invited to take part in this special after school opportunity.

Following a tree planting ceremony and observing student projects, "Dr Jane" spoke to a packed amphitheater of young people and educators. Dr Jane - age 82 - was as lucid as ever as she masterfully relayed stories of her life and messaged the audience about the urgency of achieving sustainability. The campus of ECS was further inspiring to Samohi students who all commented that they wished Samohi was more like theirs.

A lighthearted moment: As I was taking a photo of Jane with the students, I said, "Say ALGAEEE on three - one, two-" Dr Jane interrupted, "No, say chimpanZEE!"

For many years, students from santa monica high school's environmental science and leadership program, Team Marine, have been partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots Program, and have functioned as a R&S team. Senior student Zoe Parcells, co-captain of Team Marine and member of the national youth council for R&S introduced JG to the stage.

Meet Dr. Jane!

Dr. Jane Goodall was born in London, England, in 1934. She grew up living with her mom, dad, and sister, Judy. From a very young age, Dr. Jane loved animals. She would read and learn everything she could about them. When she was a child, her favorite books were Dr. Doolittle and Tarzan.

In 1956, Dr. Jane was invited to visit friends in Kenya. She could not go right away, but instead needed to work very hard and save money for the long trip. Finally in Kenya, Dr. Jane was told that if she wanted to study and learn more about animals, she should ask Dr. Leakey for a job. Dr. Leakey was a scientist who studied how ancient people in Africa had lived. He hired Dr. Jane to work for him, and because of her hard work, he assigned her a very special task. Dr. Jane was asked to study how chimpanzees lived at a place that is today called Gombe Stream National Park in the country of Tanzania.

In 1960, Dr. Jane's mom came to live with her and help her while she studied the chimpanzees. Dr. Jane and her mom lived in a tent for several months. Every day, Dr. Jane would go into the forest to try to observe how chimpanzees lived in the wild. She patiently waited, looking for the chimpanzees. At first, when the chimpanzees would see Dr. Jane, they would run away. Dr. Jane learned to be very patient, quiet, and still, so she would not scare away the chimpanzees.

Finally, after many weeks, she had the chance to watch how the chimpanzees ate, slept, and moved. Dr. Jane also watched how the chimpanzees acted with each other and how they behaved with their families. Toward the end of her study, Dr. Jane observed the chimpanzees making tools. Dr. Jane watched as a chimpanzee that she named David Greybeard used a twig to get termites out of a termite mound and eat them! What a great discovery to learn that chimpanzees made and used tools!

Jane Goodall with a juvenile homo sapien male at Santa Monica High School.

Dr. Jane spent nearly 30 years studying chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park and then started traveling so she could teach other people about chimpanzees. In 2016, Dr. Jane celebrated her 82nd birthday! Today she loves traveling and encouraging young people like you to make a positive difference in your community by helping other people, animals, and the environment.

About Roots & Shoots

Roots & Shoots is the global youth leadership program of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI). Founded in 1991, it is now active in almost 100 countries with hundreds of thousands of young people who are inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall to make the world a better place. Dr. Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students founded Roots & Shoots on their shared belief that the world is in peril, and that young people can play a huge role in creating a more hopeful future.


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