Roots & Shoots is more than just a program. For young people and adults alike, it has become a fun, rewarding and essential part of their everyday lives. And for many, their Roots & Shoots experience has been truly life changing. But don't take our word for it. Read what some of our members have to say.
"When I do a project or activity, I feel good about myself because I know that I helped do something to make the world a better place, like when we had a benefit concert to raise money for homelessness. I would tell people thinking of joining Roots & Shoots to go for it, because it is fun and it feels good to participate in a group or club activity. You can encourage your group to do a project about something you care about."
Kathryn E., age 12, R&S Medford, Massachusetts
"There are so many great things about Roots & Shoots, like working together with other youth that want to make a difference, being part of a global organization and seeing the results worldwide. Having an organization like Roots & Shoots behind you allows you to accomplish projects that are otherwise beyond your reach. If you were ever discouraged by the things happening in the world or even just your community and felt powerless to make a difference, here is your chance. It can change your life. You can change the world!"
Washo S., age 15, Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council, Beaverton, Oregon
"The focus that Roots & Shoots projects provide our kids is the number one reason why our kids are doing so well academically (based on state test scores) and behaviorally (based on discipline referrals and other indicators). Our kids, and any kids focused on meaningful Roots & Shoots projects, have a reason for learning. They never ask, 'Why are we learning this?' That is a huge benefit we gain from our R&S involvement."
Mike Weddle, teacher, Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School, Salem, Oregon
"I find that students involved in R&S projects have a deeper sense of global issues. They read the newspaper, do research on the Internet and watch the news on TV. They are constantly coming to me and asking if I saw last night's news, bringing in articles. By the time they get to me, they have already been networking among themselves to come up with solutions—something they can do to help."
Johnell Hankins, teacher, Chasco Middle School, Port Richey, Florida
"I've noticed many of my Roots & Shoots members become enthusiastic public speakers. They lose a lot of their fear of being in front of a group of people and love to inform others. I really believe that the kids feel so empowered because they have learned about an issue and formed opinions of their own. For example, three of our members stood up before the fellowship planning committee to present information on beginning a recycling program at the fellowship. It was approved. This year, a group of five stood up at our Community Hunger Banquet and educated the audience about the worldwide problem of hunger and poverty."
Diane Belnavis, United Universalist Fellowship of Newark, Delaware
"The Roots & Shoots program was instrumental for our ZOOTeen program to take their service to the next level. By highlighting the connection between the environment, animals and community, we were able to vastly expand our outreach service initiatives, and the momentum continues even now, years later."
Bill Davis, ZOOTeens Coordinator, Toledo Zoo, Ohio
"Roots & Shoots is something that brings our family together, that we can all share. No matter what we are doing with school, work and other things, Roots & Shoots is a 'together point' for family activities and discussion."
Alicia Kennedy, Wallington, Australia
"Belonging to Roots & Shoots is like being part of a global family. Connecting with other groups and leaders through the Internet, newsletters and interpersonal contact is a great source of support and encouragement. For me, Roots & Shoots is about acting upon every opportunity that presents itself to care for all life, whether that means recycling a plastic bottle left at the park, feeding the birds or holding the door for someone. Roots & Shoots is no longer one of the things I do; it is part of who I am."
Anne Goldfeld, Scottsdale, Arizona
"What I found after I joined Roots & Shoots was an extremely diverse and productive network of professionals and students of all ages working together to combine practical solutions with maximum impact. This network is extremely supportive and serves to enhance the work in which our club is involved, but allows for complete flexibility."
Dr. Rebecca Jordan, Assistant Professor of Environmental Education and Citizen Science, Rutgers University
"The University Roots & Shoots program offers what so many students yearn for: an immediate affiliation with a program of national and international distinction, built upon the commitments of young people to each other and to the communities of which they are a part."
Dr. Robert D. Whittemore, Professor of Anthropology, Western Connecticut State University
"Roots & Shoots provides kids with a framework for organizing and achieving meaningful projects that connect their minds, hearts and hands as they promote care and concern for animals, people and the planet. Youth are empowered by the Roots & Shoots model¿Knowledge, Compassion, Action—which teaches them they are capable of improving the status quo. Given the overwhelming global crises we face, this contextual framework and genuine youth empowerment is crucial for youth to develop a constructive, participatory and hopeful world view."
Stan Cross, Director of Education, Environmental Leadership Center, Warren Wilson College, North Carolina
"The staff at Global Explorers is proud to work with Roots & Shoots to help train its youth participants to be compassionate and thoughtful leaders who get things done. We continue to be inspired by the creative and forward-thinking staff and students at Roots & Shoots. Their commitment to making this world a better place and to doing something now about it motivates us to be the best we can be at Global Explorers."
David Shurna, Executive Director, Global Explorers
"The dynamic nature of the Roots & Shoots program helps the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) achieve its learning mandate. The Roots & Shoots methodology plays a critical role in increasing the awareness of students and providing students with messages of hope for their future, while simultaneously fulfilling a graduation requirement. Students have excelled while adopting the Roots & Shoots philosophy and completing projects that benefit the environment, animals and the human community."
J. Lloyd Jacobs, Director, High School Programs, Los Angeles Unified School District