New BNT Video Series Introduces Kids to Environmental Education

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Source: Bahamas National Trust

The Bahamas National Trust in partnership with the Sandals Foundation is proud to release a new series of animated videos for children to learn more about the environment. “The Adventures of Zuma the Explorer” will feature an original character named Zuma, a young Bahamian explorer seeking adventures while learning about the environment.

The video series is aimed towards children ages 5 – 12 and it explores environmental topics like native plants, marine resources, and the benefits of nature. Zuma tackles prevalent environmental issues like climate change and pollution in a unique style that is informative and entertaining, appropriate for young children.

Portia Sweeting, Director of Education at the BNT, said: “We’re overjoyed to work with the Sandals Foundation to find new ways to deliver environmental education to Bahamian children. The next generation will inherit The Bahamas we leave behind, and we must educate and empower them to make positive choices that help to protect the future of our planet.”

Eric Carey, BNT Executive Director, said: “At the BNT we believe education is a key part of the environmental conversation, which is why we have committed to creating and sustaining impactful education programs to create the next generation of environmental stewards. We hope Zuma can positively engage and influence children’s behavior and increase their understanding of what they can do to help tackle the climate crisis.”

Since its inception, the BNT has created informative educational material and delivered education programs as a key focus of its organizational objectives. The award-winning Discovery Club program was launched in 1994 and has since impacted thousands of kids around the country, creating environmental stewards who go on to make many positive strides in the environmental field.

“We are excited about just how Zuma will awaken the curiosity and adventurous spirit of young ones to go outside, explore, learn about their beautiful natural surroundings and the array of animals and plants that help make their island the treasure that it is,” says Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation. “As a Caribbean organisation,” Clarke continued, “we fundamentally believe in the power of young people to effect lasting change in environmental conservation. It all begins with education and so we are proud to be working with the BNT in developing this amazing teaching tool that adds to the country’s first ever environmental science curriculum for primary school students.”

“‘The Adventures of Zuma the Explorer’ is one of the BNT’s newest educational projects,” said Jonisha Cartwright, BNT Education Officer. “In an effort to keep up with the advancement of technology and the increased use of visual aid in education, we’ve been
exploring exciting ways to continue delivering environmental education to the youth of The Bahamas. In addition to Zuma, we’ve also created virtual park experiences, educational videos for high schoolers, and moved our Discovery Club Program to a Virtual Learning Management System.

“As our country continues to make environmental protection and sustainability a priority, it is critical that Bahamians are taught key principles from a young age. This video series is a fun way to deliver information to young students, to help them become effective champions for our environment. The BNT thanks its partners at the Sandals Foundation, and the multimedia company, Ironbound Films, for helping to bring this project to life.”

Zuma’s character is voiced by BNT’s Discovery Club Coordinator Tika Penn, who said, “It’s important to use audiovisual elements that are relatable to young Bahamians. When kids watch these videos, we want them to connect to Zuma with excitement and curiosity that compels them to be just as inquisitive to embark on their own adventures, learning more about their environment and what makes their natural resources unique.”

The videos will be uploaded on YouTube as well as the organization’s website. They will also be showcased to students around the country through multiple programs, including the Ministry of Education’s National Primary School Science Curriculum and the BNT’s Discovery Club Program.

To learn more about the role the BNT plays to manage terrestrial and marine national parks, protect species that inhabit them, and inform environmental policy, please visit its website: http://www.bnt.bs and follow/subscribe to various social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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