Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Pupils bring in MP to get some action

Wednesday, July 15, 2009, Bath Chronicle

Youngsters at a Bath primary school have been learning how to make a difference in the world of politics.

The Year 3 class at St Saviour's Junior School invited city MP Don Foster to visit them after they learned about the plight of orang- utans in Borneo.

They had read about how palm oil production was affecting their natural habitat and had done research into possible sustainable solutions.

Teacher Fiona Woods said one of the children, eight-year-old Sanjay Lohano, had asked her who they could write to about the problems.

She said: "I suggested they could contact their MP, so in one literacy lesson they all sat down and wrote to Don Foster explaining what they were concerned about."They were thrilled when he replied to every single child individually on House of Commons notepaper, so they wrote again saying they would love to meet him."

Mr Foster visited the youngsters and set up the event like a political meeting so each child had an opportunity to explain their views and the reasons they felt that way.

He also explained to them the way the House of Commons worked and answered questions about his job as MP.

Miss Woods said: "We have been doing a lot of work about the school council and explaining how the children have a voice and that their opinions count.

"This just proved to them that they can make a difference. They loved it."

Mr Foster also recently visited Kingswood Prep School to talk about the same issue and is one of 74 MPs who have signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for greater action to save rainforests.

Forests are often destroyed so palm plantations can be built, which are used to harvest oil used in everything from ice cream to peanut butter.

Meanwhile, Mr Foster has joined double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell to launch a campaign to reduce Britain's carbon footprint by the time of the London Games in 2012.

The Liberal Democrat spokesman for culture sport and media was at the launch of Green Britain Day.