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Mightier Than the Sword: Students for a Plastic-free Cayman

The MBTS Parent body is a wonderfully involved group, as highlighted by the numerous contribution parents make to our classrooms. From assisting with transportation, sharing information on their careers with students, and informing us about important events happening in our local community, our parents help round out the education our students receive.

One such event was a letter-writing campaign which was brought to MBTS by Catherine Childs, a parent of a student in the Upper Elementary West class. Cathy was approached by Plastic Free Cayman to assist in their campaign to convince the government to ban single-use plastics in the Cayman Islands. Encouraged by recent changes on nearby islands, the government expressed interest but wanted to be sure this was something citizens also cared about. While Plastic Free Cayman targeted local businesses, the ever resourceful Ms. Cathy brought the campaign to the attention of MBTS, along with many other schools on island.

This campaign tied in perfectly with the beliefs of MBTS, and the current curricular focus in Upper Elementary West. It coincided well with lessons on writing persuasively, while also offering an organic opportunity to introduce the lost art of letter writing to our “Gen Z” (or more aptly named, iGen) students. 

The students have also shown immense passion for keeping our oceans clean and are well aware of the harm which plastics can cause our delicate ecosystems. With reasons ranging from the dangers of plastics for local animals and sea life to its effect on tourism on the island, our students presented well-reasoned arguments in favour of banning single use plastic bags.

This campaign concluded with Upper Elementary and MYP students from MBTS and other schools convening on the steps of the Government Administration Building to present the letters to the Honourable Dwayne Seymour, the Minister of the Environment (and also a student body parent!). Our young representatives brought with them a thick bundle of heartfelt, impassioned letters written by students in Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and MYP. The letter handover took place on Friday, June 8th, which coincidentally was World Oceans Day.

This was a primarily parent-led initiative, with parents coming together to take students and supervise them while on site. On behalf of the Elementary classes at Montessori By The Sea, Upper Elementary West (UEW) would like to thank our parents for championing this campaign and for coming together to help our students use their academic skills to share their concerns and create change in the community. UEW is very invested in seeing the reduction of plastic pollution on the island and in our oceans, and this was a great opportunity for students to use their voices in a constructive way.

Thank you to the parents of MBTS for giving our students access to additional platforms to bring about the changes we wish to see!

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