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Press Release: Local Teacher Recognized for Global Impact

Miami, Florida—November 29, 2010 Rowena Gerber has not only changed the lives of her students at Miami Country Day School but also those of children in poor villages across the world. On November 20th, she received the Global Educator Award from the 6th Annual MY HERO Film Festival to recognize the incredible impact of her Solar Oven Project.

Over the years, Gerber and her students raised thousands of dollars to send solar cookers to Senegal, Haiti and Afghanistan. Gerber chose sites that were “sun rich, but so poor otherwise.” These solar ovens harness sunlight to make a tremendous difference in the lives of families. In the process, the Solar Oven Project also teaches children about the importance of protecting and preserving their environment.

Rowena Gerber is the Director of the Abess Center for Environmental Studies at Miami Country Day School. She has led conferences and exchanges with teachers around the world. Mrs. Gerber routinely hosts educators from other schools interested in her environmental science program at Miami Country Day. She and her students have conducted workshops at global educational conferences. Throughout the school year, her students take part in video and online conferences with other students around the world.

Gerber’s goal is simple: “to reach as many people as possible. A child that has learned something and shared something has reached one other person.” She’s reconnecting entire communities to the environment by focusing on each individual child first, then enabling and encouraging them to pass the knowledge along, to their family, to their peers, and to other students across the globe. Gerber says, “They’re sharing knowledge and forming bonds, and that’s one of the most valuable lessons a child can have for their entire future.”

Rowena Gerber received the prestigious Global Educator Award from The MY HERO Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using media and technology to celebrate humanity and empower people to effect positive change in the world. The MY HERO Project embraces the individuality of emerging artists and the heroes who inspire them; it ushers these young voices into the global community of socially conscious artists by encouraging collaborative learning, greater cultural awareness, and a clear vision for world peace.

Gerber attended The MY HERO Film Festival Awards Ceremony at the University of Southern California, which showcases the creative work of artists and activists around the globe. Gerber addressed the audience, saying “Every teacher that has a passion for his or her occupation is my hero. And the children are my heroes, who have the courage to stand up and be involved even when you can see their little hands shaking.”

Her work is documented in Skip Blumberg’s film Rowena Gerber’s Solar Oven Project. This film, along with the other winners from this year’s festival and a vast archive of hero-themed essays, images, audio, films and educational resources, is available on the MY HERO Project website www.myhero.com .

Entries are now being accepted for The 7th Annual MY HERO International Film Festival in November of 2011. For more information, visit the festival web site at: www.myhero.com/submit

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Comment:

  1. egragert

    December 8, 2010 at 9:41 am

    We at iEARN are very proud of the work that Rowena and her students have done in our network. Thanks, My Hero folks, for presenting her with this important award.

    Ed

  2. egragert

    December 8, 2010 at 9:41 am

    We at iEARN are very proud of the work that Rowena and her students have done in our network. Thanks, My Hero folks, for presenting her with this important award.

    Ed