Our Impact...what's next?
Continue below for our values, but here's the direction we hope to go in the next 2 years.
- Education of 300 students to 500 students on environmental science and climate change science. (With engaged projects: survey parents, record trash for a week, backyard surveys)
- Raise fund to organize another school garden
- Raise funds for aquaponics systems as in-class, experimental learning tool
- Increase activism amongst youth, within environmental, social, and climate realm
- Chicago Environmental Youth Summit (CEYS): more on that later! Simply said, UN style conference where youth all across Chicago work to solve environmental and social issues affecting their various wards
- Monthly movie screenings to engage students and community on climate discussions
- Working with Vanderpoel Elementary School
- Reducing waste plan (no plastic, reusable)
- Reduce food waste through education and student-led projects and initiatives
- Green Roof Project
- Garden to cafeteria program
- Solar panels/renewable energy
- Student ran Environmental Club with funds ($2,000) budget yearly
- Increase student engagement with local politics:
- Have students write letters to alderman urging them
- Write letters to mayor, encouraging to help adopt and mitigate to climate change
- Plan projects with local alderman
Get Them to the Green is always looking for ways to grow... please donate to help us continue fulfilling our vision!
Educating the student is the most important facet of the program and interweaves itself through each of the pillars of the program. This component includes workshops geared towards teaching the students about the environment and connecting that information back to their everyday lives. Each day, the summer camp focuses on a specific environmental theme, ranging from The Ecology of Lakes and Oceans, Environmental Justice Issues, Food and Agriculture, to Sustainability.
The students will take part in scientific experiments, learning how to write up their own hypothesis, collect data, come to conclusions after analyzing data and present that info to their fellow peers. Students will journal and reflect on the day's activities, ensuring that they think beyond what they know and make connections between prior knowledge and what they have learned. Everyday, students will read about current events and discuss and debate with their peers on the opinions proposed in the articles.
The summer camp will conclude with a project in which students identify an environmental issue within their community and put together an innovative solution and action plan to solve it. Potential issues include food dessert, lack of composting and recycling programs in their schools, and lack of knowledge about sustainability and the environment within their community. Much of the information students gather throughout the summer camp will aid in this culminating project.
Get Them to the Green believes that every student should have equal access to the resources that are often open for some but not available to all. Opportunity ensures that anything is possible for the student, given they have been exposed and have the knowledge about all out there in the world that is open and available to them.
Opportunity immerses the students within the environment, showing them how sustainability and science is happening around them. Potential field trips include visits to the Shedd Aquarium, The Plant Chicago, The ComEd Discover Lab, and the Aquaponics Innovation Center through Sweetwater Foundation. Students will engage in service learning, participating in beach cleanups and visiting urban-organic gardens, teaching students how they can be environmental stewards to maintain the natural beauty of our planet.
Mentoring provides the staff and volunteers an opportunity to continue to connect with the students once the week long summer program ends. The interactive website is a safe and engaging online community to continue to ennoble and empower students. Some of the features of the website include lists of resources for the students, including volunteer opportunities, summer internships, and programs throughout the year for students. These resources will include topics related not only to environmental science, but many others fields including dance, arts, economics, math, and many more. The website will also allow Get Them to the Green to motivate students, through a variety of challenges and online contests, to keep engaged in their community and school systems and continue to spread what they learned throughout the summer program to their peers.
Scholarship is the final pillar of Get Them to the Green. We are raising additional funds to send a student abroad yearly on a travel or service program whose curriculum is focused around the environment, or related topics such as biology, ecology, or sustainability. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide the opportunity for global exposure to science. From Dejah's experience, traveling has an indelible impact on her development, both as an individual and as a scholar. She hopes to extend that experience to other young students who otherwise might not have the opportunity.