Budding superheroes have a day of fun

Children made aware of their role in safeguarding the planet at an event to promote an English speech contest on a sustainable future. 

Shot by Zhou Shengjie. Edited by Zhong Youyang. Subtiltes by Wang Xinzhou and Andy Boreham.

Many of us dreamed of becoming a superhero to protect the Earth and our loved ones when we were young. Now there is a chance for children aged between 3 and 6 to be “mini-superheroes” and ensure the planet's sustainable future.

The “Mini-Superheroes Saving the Planet” 2019 Michelin Sustainable Future English Speech Contest, co-organized by Michelin China and Shanghai Daily, opened its signup and speech work uploading this week.

There are three topics for children to choose for their speech — green travel, road safety and animal protection, calling on children to design green and smart vehicles, pay attention to their own safety on the  street as well as correcting others' improper behavior, and focusing on climate change and protecting endangered animals.

Over the weekend, a promotional event was held at the Montessori Academy Greenhills Campus in the Pudong New Area with more than 40 students from the school and their families taking part. 

Michelin provided games such as jigsaws and matching for children to learn about road safety, eco-friendly travel and animal conservation.

"Children and teenagers are the future of our society and an indispensable power for realizing a sustainable future. So it’s an important work for Michelin to enlighten them about this idea," said Sharon Zheng, Michelin China's brand communication and mobility experiences director. “We believe through this contest our kids can understand better about what sustainable development is. It can also help cultivate their ideas on what is green and safe and allow them to create a more eco-friendly, secure and sustainable future with us.”

Budding superheroes have a day of fun
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Children learn about animal conservation at an event organized by Michelin and Shanghai Daily.

Zhu Jiajian, chief of Shanghai Daily, said the content is not just about the speeches. "We believe the contest can not only raise the kids' English speech ability but also use this method to cultivate their awareness of environmental protection and sense of social responsibility," Zhu said. "It can encourage the kids to think about and pay attention to the environment around them and their own behavior." It is also an embodiment of the media's social responsibility, she added.

Liza Pan, academic director of the school, told Shanghai Daily that she thought the contest was a very good chance for the children. "For Montessori, we really like to involve the kids with nature. And connecting the kids with nature is part of our education curriculum. A main point of that is because in the future they will be ones responsible for taking care of the environment.

The weekend event was well-received by both children and parents.

Bryan, the father of 4-year-old Robert, said he was always trying to teach his son about recycling, reusing and reducing and how best to improve the environment. "So this kind of activity is definitely what we try to encourage him to participate in," he said.

“I think this age is good to expose them to know about the environment issues, especially about recycling, reuse and how to look after the environment. It is a time they should learn about this issue right now,” said Bonnie, mother of 5-year-old Carys.

 Kenzo, who is also 5, told Shanghai Daily that he took part because he thinks we need to protect the Earth and reduce pollution, and every child should be a "little soldier" of Mother Nature.

Based on online votes, 10 children who perform best in the contest will win the titles of “Mini-Superhero of Earth,” “Super Captains” and “Mini-Superheroes.” Another 50 candidates who did well will be named "Outstanding Members".

If your children want to join, you can sign up for the contest on the event page.


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