Award Recognizes the Institute’s Work to Connect Kids and Nature

ARLINGTON, VA, April 13, 2012 – On Friday, April 13, 2012 the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) global environmental and humanitarian youth program, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots received a $100,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) for its work to protect nature and inspire lifelong conservation values.  The award was presented during the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration, a three-day event held at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The event recognized the importance of connecting kids to nature and organizations that are leading this effort. 

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace was on hand to accept the award on behalf of JGI.  Dr. Goodall was accompanied by Lauren Gibson, recent recipient of a Jane Goodall Global Leadership Award. Ms. Gibson was selected to represent JGI in recognition of her work to improve her local community through the Carmel Green Teen Mini-Grant Program. 

Disney’s grant to JGI is one of five $100,000 Kids and Nature awards.  To date, DWCF has invested almost $20 million to support conservation programs in more than half of the world’s countries.

“This grant from Disney will have a significant impact on our efforts to grow Roots & Shoots and to increase the dynamic connections that our young people have with each other, and their fellow Roots & Shoots members around the world,” says Allison Deines, national director of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. “We’re so honored to receive this award, and so grateful to Disney for the recognition of our work.”

The Disney grant will be used to create a new online platform to help Roots & Shoots members plan projects to improve the environment and quality of life for people and animals. With easier access to planning tools, greater opportunities to connect with each other, and a larger public profile, this new platform will increase JGI’s capacity to support Roots & Shoots member projects, and thus increase overall community impact.

“At Disney, kids and conservation are important to who we are as a company,” said Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president of Corporate Citizenship, Environment & Conservation at Disney. “We have great confidence that JGI will continue this commitment into the future.  We know that the experiences they are helping to create for kids in nature are critical to inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders.”

JGI and Disney have a longstanding relationship. Over the years, Disney has supported JGI’s conservation efforts on the ground in Africa and hosted JGI youth leadership conferences in the United States and abroad. Currently, with the upcoming release of Disneynature’s Chimpanzee, for every moviegoer who sees the movie during opening week, April 20-26, 2012, Disneynature will make a donation to the JGI to help protect chimpanzees today and tomorrow.


About the Jane Goodall Institute

Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior—research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program, which has groups in more than 120 countries. For more information, please visit

About Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots

Founded in 1991 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students, the Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With hundreds of thousands of young people in more than 120 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world. Young people identify problems in their communities and take action. Through service projects, youth-led campaigns and an interactive website, Roots & Shoots members are making a difference across the globe. For more information, please visit


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