Wangari Maathai


This month, we want to look at various stories about heroic people. Last week’s library classes read Donna Jo Napoli’s book Mama Miti. This beautiful picture book tells the story of the late Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Students also watched a short video of Wangari Maathai telling the inspiring story of the hummingbird and you can watch it below. Mama Miti inspires each of us to do what we can to help in our own situations.


Learning about Wangari Maathai


We have a very tall tree in the library this week! It will be planted in the school grounds to honor Wangari Maathai, the first African woman, and first environmentalist, to win the Nobel Peace Prize. We have read books about her this week in library classes. For younger readers Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter gives a short version of her work. For a slightly longer version in picture book format we read Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola. Interested older readers might like to read Wangari Maathai’s autobiography, Unbowed.  All of these books are available in the IST Elementary Library.

Dr Maathai’s life is an inspiring story of courage and determination. As she says, “Remember what millions of hands can do.” It’s been over thirty years since Wangari started the Green Belt Movement and in that time there has been over thirty million trees planted in Kenya!

For more information about her life you might like to watch the following video: