“Turning” plastic bags and old tires into a recycled playground for children in Dien Bien province

In realizing the recycled playground project as part of their Service Learning subject, students from classes 4A20 and 4A33 at Vinschool Times City Primary school brought a special present to the poor children at Muong Dun Kindergarten, Dien Bien Province, Viet Nam.

Students at Muong Dun Kindergarten playfully enjoy the Recycled Playground – a special present from Vinsers from classes 4A20 and 4A33 at Vinschool Times City Primary school.

Service Learning connects positive and meaningful action in the community with academic learning, personal growth and social responsibility. Service Learning empowers students to develop new skills and knowledge through integrated connections to the curriculum. Service learning at each grade level is specific to their age, knowledge, skills and understandings. In each grade students will participate using the 5 Stages of Service Learning: Investigation, Planning and Preparation, Action and Demonstration/Communication.

In the 4th grade, students are learning about our Conservation Responsibility. Students will understand that people can make informed decisions to reduce the impact of waste on the environment through conservation. In the investigation stage, students are guided to use different ways to gather information about issues related to conservation responsibility such as: protection of the ecosystem, protection of wildlife, and natural resources. Students from 4A20 and 4A33 classes picked their main concerns, which is environmental pollution and jointly came up with the idea to create a recycled playground for poor children.

During Planning and Preparation, the classes made plans of action and clearly delegated tasks for each group. The students then started to take action.

Working together with the community organization “Think Playgrounds”, students came up with design ideas for a recycled playground.
After agreeing on the design, students worked together under the direction and support of Think Playgrounds.
Students collected plastic bags, thrown-away plastic bottles, pieces of woods and old tires to make eco-friendly bricks and recycled playground equipment.

“I’m very happy to see the children playing at Muong Dun Kindergarten, enjoying the playground that was our gift. I hope that with this present, they can increase their exercise because that is always good for their health, and having happy times at school” – Than Duc Kien, a student from class 4A33 shared.

During their classes, the students thought about and assessed the impact of what they were doing to better understand the community project that they were undertaking. At the end of the school year, students made reports about the project which were presented to parents and teachers and took feedback and comments in order to draw lessons and expand the project in the future.

Through this project, students not only better understood, and better communicated the negative impacts of plastic trash to those around them, but also engaged with their personal responsibilities to protect the living environment and encouraged others to recycle their trash. This is also an opportunity for children to practice life skills that they’ve learned including, cooperation, active learning, working together to solve problems, leadership, making plans and time management.