Education+Action (E+A) projects taught Bay Area K-12 students about solving environmental problems by engaging students in local, hands-on, service learning projects. Educators from Volunteer Network groups made presentations on subjects ranging from worm composting, to endangered native species, to organic gardening. Hands-on activities showed local solutions to global environmental problems, empowering students by creating opportunities for them to make positive changes, and involving students in the management of their neighborhoods.
Education+Action projects in 1994 reached hundreds of students and left lasting benefits on or around school campuses at the following sites:
- San Francisco Day School (SF, CA)
Water Resources Protection/storm drain stenciling
- Mark Twain Continuation High School (SF, CA)
Recycling, Waste Management and Art from Recycled Sources
- Luther Burbank Middle School (SF, CA)
Campus Clean-up and Habitat Restoration
- Wallenberg High School (SF, CA)
Recycling, Waste Management and Art from Recycled Sources
- Ida B. Wells Continuation High School (SF, CA)
- San Francisco Educational Services (SF, CA.)
- San Francisco Educational Services (SF, CA)
- La Puente School for Peace and Justice (Brooklyn, NY)
- St. Dominic’s School (SF, CA)
Endangered Species in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Everett Middle School (SF, CA)
Worm Composting more below!!!!!
- Benjamin Franklin Middle School (SF, CA)
Native Plant Gardening
- Argonne Alternative Elementary (SF, CA)
- St. Dominic’s School (SF, CA)
Water Resource Protection/storm drain stenciling
The September/October issue of the Green City Calendar, “Hands-on Education,” was mailed to 1,200 San Francisco and Alameda County teachers along with our “Be a Green City Teacher” flyer which describes the Education+Action program. Since the mailing, we have been inundated with teachers requesting that the Green City Project conduct environmental service learning projects with their classes. Throughout 1995, Education+Action facilitated an average of one project per week. We reached over a thousand Bay Area students and left lasting benefits on or around school campuses at the following locations:
- Everett Middle School (1/25th)
Worm Composting; 6th Grade; Yahoo Herb ‘an Ecology
- San Francisco Community School (2/2nd)
Native plants and tree maintenance; 7th Grade; Friends of the Urban Forest
- Horace Mann Middle School (2/6th-8th)
Sustainable City Project, planning and open space; 8th Grade; Urban Ecology and Greenbelt Alliance
- Potrero Hill Middle School (2/14th)
Composting; 6th Grade
- Grattan School (2/27th; 3/7th)
Bay ecology and storm drain stenciling; 2nd and 4th Grade; Department of Public Works
- Bessie Carmichael Elementary School (3/2nd)
Worm Composting; 5th Grade
- Woodside International School (3/7th-9th)
Alternative transportation and air pollution; 6th – 8th Grade; San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
- Luther Burbank Middle School (3/9th-16th)
Composting; 6th Grade; S. F. League of Urban Gardeners
- Wallenberg High School (3/23rd)
Recycling program creation; 11th Grade; Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling
- James Lick Middle School (3/28th)
Urban Forestry and native plants; 7th Grade; Friends of the Urban Forest
- Oakland Brownies (4/3rd)
Watershed protection and beach clean-up; 2nd and 3rd Grade; East Bay Regional Parks
- San Francisco Community School (4/6-18-19)
Renewable energy; 7th and 8th Grade; Union of Concerned Scientists
- Piedmont Avenue School (4-6-18-21-25)
Recycling program creation; 1st and 6th Grade; Oakland Recycling Association
- Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep School (4/12)
Bioregionalism; 9th-12th Grade;
- Bessie Carmichael Elementary School (4/25)
Urban gardening; 4th and 5th Grade; S.F. League of Urban Gardeners and Yahoo! Herb ‘an Ecology
- Washington High School (5/2)
Bioregionalism; 9th-12th Grade;
- Mission High School (ten sessions from 5/15 – 6/7)
Recycled art; 9th Grade; various recycling, waste management, and art organizations
- McAteer High School (6/7-8)
Creek habitat restoration; 10th Grade; S.F. Conservation Corps
- Marina Middle School (6/8)
Watershed education and storm drain stenciling; 8th grade; S. F. Department of Public Works
- Jamestown Community Center (7/11-24-27; 8/7)
Urban ecology, environmental advocacy, and direct service; 5th-8th Grade; People Organizing to Demand Environmental Rights
- Galileo High School (7/13-14-27-28; 8/3-4)
Bay ecology and alternative transportation; 9th Grade; San Francisco Bay Coalition
- Jefferson Children’s Center (7/21)
Coastal clean-up and storm drain stenciling; 3rd Grade; Department of Public Works; Surfrider; CA Coastal Commission
- Presidio Middle School (7/25)
Urban ecology; 7th Grade
- Golden Gate School (7/26)
Fruit tree planting; 5th Grade ; Friends of the Urban Forest
- James Lick Middle School (7/31)
Recycling and composting; 7th grade; Yahoo! Herb ‘an Ecology
- Jefferson School (8/2)
Beach clean-up; 3rd Grade; CA Coastal Commission
- East Bay Conservation Corps (9/11)
Composting; post grads
- Alamo School (9/28 10/24 1/17)
Environmental mural project; 5th Grade; S.F. League of Urban Gardners
- Washington High (10/12-13)
Bioregionalism; 9th-12th Grade
- St. Elizabeth School (11/12)
Water pollution prevention, storm drain stenciling; 5th Grade; S.F. Department of Public Works
- Leonard R. Flynn School ((10/19-26, 11/14)
Recycling and art; 2nd Grade; Remi Rubel Recycling Resources
- Golden Gate School (11/2)
Environmental shopping; K-5th Grade; Green World Mercantile
- W. Portal Lutheran School (11/7-9-14)
Recycling and art; 5th Grade; Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council
- Ida B. Wells Continuation High School (12/5)
Urban gardening; 9th-12th Grade; S.F. League of Urban gardeners
- Rivendell Elementary School (12/5)
Gardening and worm composting; 3rd-5th Grade; S.F League of Urban Gardeners
- Thurgood Marshall School (12/7, 12/8, 12/14, 12/15)
Urban gardening; 4th and 5th Grade; East Bay Urban Gardeners
E+A continued to conduct at least one hands-on environmental education project each week in Bay Area K-12 schools from January through June. Weekly visits from June through August were spent restoring an overgrazed hillside in a horse pasture, with children participating in summer horsemanship classes. From October until the end of the year E+A has been doing approximately two school visits each week. Often each visit includes working in several classrooms, which have included special education, bilingual and youth at risk classrooms. Some projects have included entire schools. 1996 projects were:
- New Outlooks Education Program (1/10-11);
Organic Gardening and composting
- San Francisco Water Festival (1/16);
- Sunnyside Elementary School (1/16);
Water issues (teacher training)
- Alamo School (1/17-22);
- Longfellow Elementary (2/2-29; 3/1-19);
Urban gardening and composting
- Parkway Heights Middle School (4/11);
- Lyce’e Francais (3/16);
Aids Memorial Grove Work Party; 6th Grade
- Parkway Heights Middle School (4/11);
- Buena Vista School (4/17);
Urban gardening; 6th Grade
- Gloria R. Davis Middle School (4/19, 5/7 5/9);
Water pollution prevention; storm drain stenciling
- Alvardo Elementary and James Lick Middle School (4/22, 4/23/ 4/25); Water pollution prevention, storm drain stenciling
- Ulloa Elementary (4/23, 5/2, 5/6, 5/9, 5/13);
Ocean protection and mural
- Galileo High School (4/30, 5/1, 5/2);
Community and the environment
- Sunnyside School (5/7);
Trees in the city
- St. Elizabeth School (5/31);
Urban creek protection
- Sunnyside School (5/31);
Urban creek protection
- Waldorf School (7/7);
Bioregional mapping and storm drain stenciling
- Horace Mann Middle School (7/24, 7/25, 7/26);
Created school-side garden
- Full House Farm (Weekly visits June–August)
Restoring an overgrazed hillside in a horse pasture with children participating in summer horsemanship classes
- Wallenberg High School (10/1, 12/10);
School-wide, Habitat restoration, adoption of Mountain Lake Park
- Luther Burbank Middle School (10/10, 11/14, 11/19, 11/20, 12/6);
Natural history of San Francisco, native plant garden project
- Mission Educational Center (10/15, 10/23, 12/12);
School-wide cafeteria worm composting program with SLUG
- MP Brown Elementary (10/16, 10/30, 11/8, 11/15, 11/21, 11/22, 11/25); (2 Classes)
Natural history of San Francisco & Native plants of San Bruno Mountain studies and the creation of a native plant garden with Friends of San Bruno Mountain and San Bruno Mountain Watch
- Argonne Elementary (10/23, 12/12, 12/13);
Recycling and eco-arts project with Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council & artist Remi Rubel
- Ida B. Wells Continuation High School (10/25);
Healthy food choices and school gardening
- Abbot Middle School (11/12, 11/15, 11/16);
Restoring Laurel Creek with Friends of San Fransiquito Creek
- Lafayette Elementary School (11/18);
Classroom based worm composting with SLUG
- Mission High School (12/10, 12/12, 12/17, 12/19);
Environmental justice and community mapping project with 3 Circles Foundation
- St. Ann After-School (12/11, 12/13);
a recycling and paper making project with HANC
In 1997, the E+A program continued to grow tremendously. The total number of classroom visits nearly doubled, with the education director conducting at least three hands-on environmental education projects each week in Bay Area K-12 schools. After outreach to 300 Bay Area teachers, the demand for the program led Green City to hire an education assistant. In total, the E+A program reached 5000 students during the year in hundreds of classrooms.
This year E+A began a curriculum and program planning consultation service for teachers and other educators. It has already become popular with teachers and was used by the SF Recreation and Park Department in developing their Natural Areas Curriculum. Green City expanded its databases to include E+A teachers and their projects. This invaluable resource enables us to link educators to one another by project type, grade level, and/or location.
Green City Project strengthens the Bay Area environmental movement by collaborating with other organizations on E+A projects. Some Volunteer Network groups that participated in recent school activities include:
- California Academy of Sciences
- California Coastal Commission
- Communities for a Better Environment
- Earth Service Corps
- Friends of McLaren Park
- Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council
- The Garden Project
- National Park Service, Muir Woods
- Pacific Environmental Resource Center
- Presidio Alliance
- Presidio National Park
- Randall Museum
1997 Projects (In the following list of Bay Area locations for E+A projects, some of the people who provided expertise are included in parenthesis.
Alice Fong Yu Elementary – waste issues: (HANC)
Arroyo Seco Elementary – habitat murals.
Beth Shalom Synagogue – (2 programs) produced an Earth Day Celebration involving 200 students: (S.F. Department of Parks & Recreation, Strybing Arboretum, S.F. Recycling, and Youth for Environmental Service), Mizpah Day consultation.
Burton High School – (3 programs) school-wide paper recycling program: (S.F. Recycling); endangered species: (Youth for Environmental Service and San Bruno Mountain Watch); and habitat restoration: (Friends of McLaren Park and S.F. Department of Parks & Recreation).
Brett Harte Elementary – natural history and seed collection on San Bruno Mountain: (San Bruno Mountain Watch)
Castlemont High School (East Oakland) – environmental justice, community mapping: (3 Circles and Chesterblock).
Clairemont High School – bioregional mapping
Creative Arts Charter School – (2 programs) water pollution & Lake Merced clean-up: (S.F. Department of Parks & Recreation) and deep ecology games.
Cub Scouts – environmental awareness evening.
Earth Service Club – 10 students did native plant restoration: (San Bruno Mountain Watch)
Galileo High School – (7 programs) healthy food choices, endangered species: (San Bruno Mountain Watch); habitat restoration in Mountain Lake Park: (S.F Department of Parks & Recreation); curriculum consultation; Earth Day presentations -– 3 days visiting all classrooms, bioregional mapping, urban sustainability
Hunter’s Point Boys & Girls Club – “The Great Nature Club” Wednesday after-school environmental education program
Ida B. Wells School – 15 students studied about healthy food choices & gardening
Laurel Elementary – (2 programs) school-wide recycling initiative: (HANC); habitat restoration at Fort Funston: (GGNRA)
Lawton Elementary – Community Service Day consultation
Lick-Willmerding High School – Water issues: (Communities for a Better Environment) and San Francisco natural history hike: (Gregg Garr) 30 students.
Lipman Middle School (Brisbane) – Council of All Beings: (naturalist David Graves); mapping exercise and adoption of San Bruno Mountain: (San Bruno Mountain Watch and Friends of San Bruno Mountain)
Live Oak School – natural history and recycling: (HANC)
Milton Meyer Recreation Center – (daily summer morning program), environmental education program including service learning, gardening, general environmental awareness and eco arts: (S.F. Urban Team, S.F. Recycling, The Academy of Sciences and SLUG)
Mission Education Center – worm composting w/20 students: (San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners)
Newcomer High School – school-wide recycling initiative consultation
Noriega Children’s Day Care – habitat restoration at Lake Merced: (S.F. Department of Parks and Recreation)
Oakland St. Academy – 15 students learned about urban gardening & healthy food choices: (The Garden Project)
Oases Community Center – (2 programs) bioregionalism & curriculum consulting
Palo Alto High School – (Palo Alto): urban sustainability
Pollecita Middle School – (Daly City): (2 programs) habitat restoration & adoption of San Bruno Mountain: (San Bruno Mountain Watch); consultation on earthquake unit
Presidio Community YMCA – (5 programs) habitat restoration at Lake Merced and in Golden Gate Park: (S.F Department of Parks & Recreation, National Park Service, Muir Woods); community gardening: (The Presidio Alliance); Ocean Beach clean-up: (California Coastal Commission); & general environmental education program consulting
Presidio Middle School Earth Day – coordination of school-wide environmental education fair: (S.F. Urban Team, Richmond District YMCA, Earth Service Corps, San Bruno Mountain Watch, Earthsave, Strybing Arboretum, The Josephine P. Randall Museum, Presidio National Park)
St. Elizabeth’s Elementary – 32 students adopted a pond in the park: (Friends of McLaren Park)
St. Joseph’s the Worker Elementary – (Berkeley): consultation for a native plant garden provided by Green City’s Workshop/Workday program
San Francisco School – habitat restoration in Golden Gate Park: (Youth for Environmental Service and S. F. Department of Parks & Recreation)
S.F. Community School — (4 programs including several field trips); natural history of Golden Gate Park, native plants: (Friends of McLaren Park and San Bruno Mountain Watch);urban sustainability & toxic tour of Hunter’s Point, water issues & natural history of San Francisco.
Stevenson Elementary – recycling.
Thousand Oaks Elementary – watershed mural: (artist Lisa Sanditz)
Taylor Elementary – recycling
Vistation Valley Middle School – school-wide organic gardening & rooftop garden construction.
Wallenberg High School – 120 students adopted Mt. Lake Park (SF Parks and Recreation Department).
Washington High School – (2 programs) urban sustainability, native plants workshop involving 20 students.
In addition to our own work within the school community, E+A has continued to support collaborative efforts between non-profit groups by sitting on the SF School Gardens Collaborative facilitated by SLUG. In this collaboration E+A helped to realize the vision of “A Garden in Every School”, to produce the School Garden Newsletter, and to continue idea-sharing within the Collaborative.
E+A held many workshops on service learning and environmental education including those at colleges, schools, the SF Volunteer Center, the San Mateo Volunteer Center’s Teacher and Service Learning Conference, the St. Joseph’s Native Plant Garden Project and the School Gardens Conference.
This year E+A strove to work more in depth with several schools on restoration and environmental programs in the parks near the schools. A summer-long intern project to set up an area near a school with representative native plant communities from the various ecotones around the state of California entailed both research and hands-on work.
Autumn 1998 E+A projects included:
The totals for this quarter are 593 students, 29 teachers, 200-300 general public attended presentations and workshops. (Similar projects were undertaken the rest of the year.)
A.P. Giannini Middle School: Dec. 10; Presentation, slide show and storytelling re: San Francisco natural history; 55 students.
Brett Harte Elementary: October 14, 20, 21, 28; Orientation activities, Habitat in a Box, Field trip to Bayview Hill, activities focus on 5 senses; 85 students. November 4, 5, 9, 20; Field trips up Bayview Hill and in class activities, Bioregional Mapping, Build a Tree; 85 students. December 2, 9, 11, 17; Field trips to Bayview Hill and in-class activities, Build a Tree; 100 students.
Cleveland School: November 17; Eco-Art activity making mobiles from reused car parts students found in McLaren Park; 16 students.
Holy Name School: November 11, 13; Waste and packaging reduction activity followed by eco-art activity making wire figures for students to sell at school bazaar; 30 students.
O’Connell High School: November 6; Waste management/recycling presentation and trivia game; 45 students.
Josephine P. Randall, Jr. Museum Teacher Training: October 15; Curriculum training and kickoff for teachers involved in S.F. Recreation & Park Natural Areas Program; 15 teachers.
St. Elizabeth School: October 14, 21, 28; Bioregional mapping activity, field trips to McLaren Park, non-native plant control and removal; 40 students. November 11, 18; habitat restoration work in McLaren Park; 40 students. December 2, 9; Activities and habitat restoration in McLaren Park; 40 students.
Visitation Valley Middle School: October 5;Bioregional Mapping activity and work in school garden with 7th and 8th grades; 57 students.
Volunteer Center of San Francisco: October 22; Service Learning Conference for teachers, community organizations, volunteers; 200-300 in attendance.
SF School Gardens Collaborative: E+Acontinued idea-sharing with them during the first three months of the year.
Preliminary outreach and planning for schools Eco+Art Contest.
Preliminary planning for environmental education job training.
Bay Area educators continue to be eager for E+A’s assistance in coordinating programs for their classrooms and community centers. But, more importantly, students really respond to the straightforward, hands-on aspects of learning about and addressing local environmental issues. The Education-Action program strikes a balance between the number of students served and the quality of the interaction with students and their teachers. Some projects last the whole school year while others are completed in a few days. The diversity of Education+Action activities and projects contributes to the strength of the program. Each project is designed specifically to meet the needs and interests of each class and teacher. The students’ age and location and current classroom topics are all taken into account so the students feel enthusiastic about the project and have a sense of ownership over it.
The E+A environmental education program is now in its 6th year of offering free on-site project consultation, ecological classroom presentations, and hands-on activities to schools and community centers in the San Francisco Bay Area. New teachers continue to get involved, and the E+A program has become an extremely sought-after resource for supplementing environmental curricula with resources and projects that directly involve students in community enhancing activities. At teachers’ requests, E+A organizes both classroom lessons and practical hands-on activities, collaborating with environmental educators from the Volunteer Network.
The E+A service learning approach to education gives students an understanding of ecological concepts, a chance to realize their abilities to make positive changes where they live, and exposure to alternative career opportunities. Students gain a sense of belonging, ownership, and concern for their school, community, and local environment. E+A also provides a link for schools and teachers to the environmental community in the Bay Area.
During the school year 98-99 E+A worked with approximately 5,000 K-12 students and 75 teachers throughout the Bay Area. Nearly 75% of the students and teachers are from low income and ethnically diverse schools. The new office location in San Francisco’s Mission District will help Green City reach out to groups and neighborhoods that could benefit greatly from Education+Action programs. New materials for teachers to utilize are being purchased, and there is also space for meetings, talks and workshops to be held.
E+A maintained the usual high level of service by making four and five school visits per week and offering additional services that included:
- Teacher Training Workshops;
Several new teacher workshops were offered around the Bay Area. These included a local mapping workshop for student teachers at Sonoma State University, and eco-art workshop about recycled art, and an outdoor restoration workshop for teachers to share their experiences of working with students in the field.
- E+A projects to summer and after school programs;
Another new project development was the rejuvenation of a vegetable and flower garden at Burt Children’s Center, a school and home for emotionally disturbed children. Education+Action solicited donations, researched garden and greenhouse building, and rallied volunteers to help revive the dilapidated plot into a vibrant garden. Students at the school now have a beautiful garden in which they can express themselves in a positive way. The staff and students are now planning to grow fruits and vegetables to be eaten in their cafeteria.
- Consulting with teachers and other educators about environmental education;
- Developing and distributing curriculum to teachers on ecological topics;
New program topics and expanded curricula evolved as various requests for teachers were fulfilled. A unit on sound and noise pollution and an improved lesson related to Bay Area History and Native Americans were two popular new programs.
E+A continued to expand. New Programs this year included designing and implementing:
- Ecological Art (Eco-Art) Contest for K-12 students.
Education+Action organized an Eco-Art Contest for San Francisco Middle and High School students. Thirteen Middle and High Schools participated with over 75 entrees. Eighteen winners were chosen in a variety of categories, including collaborative class projects, by six artist judges. During the contest educators and artists went into classrooms to introduce students to the concept of eco-art. Students then created and submitted pieces of art to reflect the idea of a “Green City.” A celebratory party for the community with prizes for the winning students was held on March 11, 1999 at the SOMArts Gallery in San Francisco. Some of the winning entries were also exhibited at Patagonia Store in San Francisco. Prizes and refreshments were donated by:
- Rainbow Grocery
- Ultimate Cookie Company
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
- University Art Supply
- Careers in Environmental Education (CEE) Project.
E+A initiated a pilot program to train high school students to be environmental education assistants in elementary classrooms. The pilot group’s participants were composed of six girls of Latin American and Asian American descent. They were exposed to many different facets of the world of environmental education, including:
- Hand-on experience in classrooms and in the field.
- Mentoring for younger students.
- Field work and office work involved in environmental education.
- Many different natural areas around San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Native plant habitats, the Ohlone and their uses of native plants.
The students also learned techniques for leading trips to natural areas and methods for behavior management with younger students. In the classroom and in the field CEE participants acted as mentors to younger students, assisted the educators with group management, and assumed the role of teacher for several activities. CEE participants reached about 200 students and assisted six different environmental educators.
Innovative aspects of this program include the employment of high school students of color as mentors and educators for younger students, exposure to a new and different career path, and the provision of hands-on training and experience. E+A is creating a partnership with Community Action Now, an organization that has developed a similar pilot program, to continue to improve this program.
Some of the Volunteer Network organizations that participated in school activities and curriculum development this year include:
- San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners (SLUG)
- San Francisco Department of Parks and Recreation
- Kids in Parks
- San Bruno Mountain Watch
- Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT)
- The Josephine P. RandallJunior Museum
- The Urban Pioneer Program
To show the diverse projects E+A completed during 1999, those for the first quarter are listed below:
Pickleweed Community Center: April 12, 22; Brainstorming, bioregional mapping activities.
Creative Arts Charter School: April 14, 21; Activities related to Ohlone and early San Francisco.
Burt Children’s Center: April 15; Planning meeting to rejuvenate the garden and use
it for education of emotionally disturbed children.
Denman Middle School: April 13, 15, 16, 23, 30; Facilitated garden project, natural history lessons, bioregional mapping.
Noriega Children’s Center: April 21; Created and presented hands-on lesson about
sand for pre-K students.
San Domenico School: April 23; Created and presented info on alternative energy and natural resources for high school Earth Day Seminars.
Children’s Day School: March 4; Activities and in-class presentation about native plants.
San Francisco Day School: March 8; In-class project re: recycling and waste reduction.
Grattan School: March 10, 17; In-class activities and neighborhood walk experiment re: sound and noise pollution.
E.R. Taylor School: March 11; Watershed activities at school-wide environmental fair.
Richardson Bay Audubon Center: March 11; Students from Picklewood Community Center in San Rafael took field trip to center.
McAteer High School: March 2, 3, 15, 17, 18, 22, 25, 26, 27; Careers in Environmental Education students-group meetings, field trips to environmental activities and camping trip
to San Bruno Mountain.
SF Community School: March 18; In-class presentation on trails of McLaren Park.
Sonoma State University: March 20; Bioregional mapping workshop for environmental studies educators.
Gloria R. Davis Middle School: March 24; Assisted with binocular activity in Hilltop Park.
Mission High School: February 1; Eco-Art presentation and hands-on activities.
Chinese American International School: February 4; Eco-Art presentation and hands-on activities.
Thurgood Marshall High School: February 8; Eco-Art presentation and hands-on activities.
Brett Harte School: January 7, 14, 20, 22; Field trips to Bayview Hill and in-class
activities; decomposition and compost observation.
St. Elizabeth School: January 6, 13, 20, 21; ongoing environmental restoration activities
in McLaren Park
EcoArt Teacher Workshop: January 28; Hands-on workshop and slide show about