Via Microsoft’s Skype in the Classroom program, on April 9, Pocantico Hills School students in third, fifth, sixth and seventh grade had a window into primatologist Jane Goodall’s life’s work of protecting chimpanzees and promoting conservation efforts in Africa via a question-and-answer session open to students around the world.
Nearly 60 years ago, Dr. Goodall traveled from the United Kingdom to what is now Tanzania to fulfill her childhood dream of observing and writing about animals in the wild. There she met Dr. Louis Leakey, a Kenyan archaeologist and anthropologist who asked her to study chimpanzees and help save them from extinction.
A Taiwanese student asked Dr. Goodall what one can do to make a difference in the world. She suggested joining her institute’s Roots and Shoots service program for young people.
“You have choices as to how you behave, and if you think about it, then you’ll join our family that’s growing all around the world and changing the way we think about animals, the way we think about helping people, and the way we feel about preserving the environment,” she said.
Pocantico seventh-grader Maryum Faisal said Dr. Goodall is a brave and inspiring woman. “Many men have completed great achievements,” she said. “As a woman who has traveled around Africa and experienced first-hand life with chimpanzees, it’s quite outstanding to see what she’s done.”
School library media specialist Anne Price-Gordon, who organized the Skype sessions, noted that an earlier session in March had fourth-graders speak with Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series.
PH-1 Pocantico Hills School students took a “selfie” with Dr. Jane Goodall during a Skype session.