Mission & Vision
Habitat Heroes empowers and educates children about social and environmental issues. Habitat Heroes exists to instill optimism about the future of the planet while inspiring positive actions by our members and their families.
By recognising that children are interested in different topics and have different strengths, Habitat Heroes enables its users to understand that regardless of where their strengths are aligned, everyone can make a difference!
What does Habitat Heroes do?
Designed simply and colourfully, Habitat Heroes encourages behavioural change, resource savings and public awareness as children perform simple tasks which are beneficial for the environment.
The issues that we tackle can be scarey for children but we aim to produce content that is non-threatening to children.
Habitat Heroes offers education-based games and activities, treasure hunts and puzzles which entertain and teach about animal extinction, healthy eating, water and land rejuvenation, recycling, global warming and others challenges facing Earth. We enlisted the help of experts in education, social and environmental areas to deliver to educators up to date and relevant content.
Habitat Heroes unites children into a global force of Super Heroes teaching them that everyone can make a difference. Children 'adopt' an endangered animal, create a life for it by creating and personalizing animal avatars, play games and learn about the environment.
Children communicate with other young conservation-minded youngsters in secure chat rooms and save the planet - one game at time!
Currently used in both schools and private homes, Habitat Heroes is developed in consultation with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD).
Children learn best when they are actively engaged and enjoying themselves. Learning through play is the key. Habitat Heroes inspires children to become more environmentally and socially conscious by enlisting environmental, health and social responsibility experts to deliver a product that not only revolutionises education but also provides fun and entertainment.
Real life programs supplement, support and expand on Habitat Heroes' virtual worlds
In its first year of operation, thanks to the support of its partners, Habitat Heroes supplemented its website teachings by providing live workshops, professional on- and off-line development programs as well as outreach campaigns designed to empower children that they can make a difference. In particular, two remarkable programs - Climate Quilt Campaign and Making a Difference Day - provided educational opportunities in which the participating children actively collaborated, had fun and experienced truly enriching events.
The Genesis of Habitat Heroes
Sharon Lowe, Chief Crusader of Habitat Heroes, launched Habitat Heroes on Earth Day, 22 April 2009.
Habitat Heroes started as a virtual world and grew from there.
In the lead up to the UN Climate Change Summit 2009 in Copenhagen, Habitat Heroes wanted to give a voice to the world's children. As a result, Habitat Heroes coordinated and produced a video, website and campaign, including suggested lesson plans, known as the Climate Quilt Campaign.
While the Campaign was conceived and kicked off in Australia, it received full momentum when it was formally launched in New York during the UN International Climate week in September 2009.
Children made and wrote pledges onto a piece of recycled fabric which was sewn into a giant quilt which became and expression of the children's hopes and dreams for the Earth's future and their personal commitments to do their part to save their world.
Frequent meetings, high volumes of email and phone calls were required. Especially touching were submissions received from special needs students where teachers praised the project and the excitement of the students. This Campaign struck a chord and the enthusiasm was viral across the planet in communities everywhere.
So successful was The Climate Quilt, that Senator Penny Wong and her delegation took a panel of the quilt to Copenhagen for the Global Climate Change Summit to serve as a tangible representation of the voice of the world's children. The quilt was also featured on shows such as NBC's Today Show5 and Good Morning America.
More than 5,000 pledge patches were received from children spanning the globe including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America, Africa, China and the Philippines. The final quilt was donated to the United Nations.
The Climate Quilt is now at the UN in New York.
Making a Difference Day was a free full-day event held at Melbourne Grammar School conducted on 11 November 2009 involving more than 300 Year 5 delegates from 7 schools. A truly enriching experience for all the students involved, with the children participating in workshops and listening to speakers including the Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser AC, and the Speaker for the House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins MP.
The Results were as follows:
One out of three children ages 6-11 years old fear that the planet won’t exist when they grow up and more than half believe that the Earth will not be as good a place to live*.
• 50% say that hurricanes and tornadoes are the natural disasters that scare them the most
• A quarter of all children polled are afraid there is not enough drinking water for everyone on the planet
• 28% say that they fear animals, such as polar bears and penguins will become extinct and disappear from the planet
Habitat Heroes teaches children about social and environmental issues in an atmosphere that is familiar, fun and non-threatening.
It allows them to interact with peers their own age while exploring the world around them through interactive game play and activities.
“Habitat Heroes is a great resource for children and parents in that it addresses the three key facets in developing well-being. It educates children about the issues, it empowers them to take action and encourages them to engage in pro-social behaviours. This combination, delivered in a fun, engaging and non-instructive way, is proven to build optimism and well-being in children.
Learning how to cope with these issues and engaging in socially desirable behaviours will often
generalise to other parts of a person’s life, giving children the skills to approach a range of
challenges they will face in their lives in a positive and healthy way.”
------- Associate Professor Erica Frydenberg (Psychology) of The University of Melbourne’s
Graduate School of Education.
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