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All of the students in my class have Autism and/or Intellectual Disabilities. They love to be outside, and they love working with other kids, so the first thing we'll do is work with our elementary buddies to design a space that is accessible for all. Then we will enlist other classes, such as our shop class, to help create the items we need, such as plaques. Each student will have a job to do based on their talents, abilities, and interests. Students will work together to choose plants and flowers for the area. They will write descriptions of the plants, their needs, and uses. These will be put onto plaques and posted near the plants. Students will also create decorative items from recycled materials, and they will work together to ensure that everyone's work is included. This project will give both schools an area where they can read, collaborate with others, and learn in a natural environment. Usage of this garden area is open for all classes of both schools, and we believe it will get excellent use. Here in Florida we have beautiful weather much of the year, and it is such a terrific experience for kids when they get outdoors and use all of their senses to learn!
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Freshman F.I.R.S.T.Roots & Shoots Campaign addresses local environmental issues related to conservation and preservation of natural resources, specifically in local watersheds, streams and parks. Our approach is to work enlist 365 grade nine students to collaborate with our science teachers, local environment and EPA specialist and community volunteers to address needs while actualizing or transferring knowledge gained in school to address local needs. The program objective is for all 9th graders who are enrolled in Environmental Science classes to take action and outreach to enlist at least one community volunteer (adult) to work with us to address the identified needs of our community watershed, creeks, banks, parks and recreational areas. The Project's academic and community service goal is focused for at least 85% of students to master at least 7 of the designated core curriculum concepts related to: Biology and identification of endangered specifies and Earth Science related to Recycle and Reuse.by May 1016. In addition, it is the goal of the project for each student to enlist at least one adult or young friend to assist in on going community service as environment stewards and by May 2016 for at least 80% progress will be demonstrated through pre-post assessment and Project Freshman FIRST Roots & Shoots Campaign Rubric. The Rubric is modeled on Youth Serve America to evaluate and to tell the community that local high school freshman are prepared scholastically and are competent young citizens to leade a diverse democracy and economy, showcasing abilities “to make a difference” and "to put into action" federal/ state Core Curriculum Standards related to earth science and environmental understanding and stewardship. The Project coordinates community volunteers of all ages and ethnic groups in cleaning two local Green Acres and coordinating the restoration of the local Assiscunk Creek with native plants and shrubs and clean and preserve the habitat of the endangered Bog Turtle, students services will advance the goals of the International Biodiversity Action Plan and the Cleaner Planet Today Project.. Project Freshman FIRST Roots and Shoots Campaign fosters organizational skills and effective communications skills and realistic application of problem solving processes, logic and budgeting skills to address identified environmental needs of the community. The project objectives include: By May 2016, at least 85% of participants will dedicate at least 75 hours to community services in environmental stewardship. By August 2016, to develop and disseminate an effective model school/community Service Learning Program, detailed in a Program Operations Guide to enable replication nationwide advancing environmental stewardship among youth and community adults. By June 2016 facilitate “learning into action” providing a continuum of intergenerational services to identify and address community needs related to environmental stewardship. In addition, at least 50% of participants will outreach to and engage students who otherwise may not volunteer (I.e. Special Needs, or economically disadvantaged or educationally disaffected youth) to become involved in environmental stewardship activities in the school and community..
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Our Roots & Shoots campaign will address unused space on our campus that could be used for plants in an area that is currently deficient of green spaces. It will also address the concern of lacking environmental stewardship among our students because of their lack of access to green spaces and knowledge about the environment. Our campaign will establish a Eco Club that will help to educate the student body as well as enhance school grounds by up-keeping 6 raised beds that are currently vacant.
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October 2015 Voyager teachers visit community gardens in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Voyager teachers visit schoolyard garden in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area. Advisory classes research composting. Teachers and students create a list of materials and equipment needed from beginning to completion. Students take photos and videos of the area in its “Pre-Garden” state. November 2015 Students begin clearing area for construction (utilizing the compost area) Students build compost bins Students build compost area Students take photos and video of ongoing projects December 2015 Voyager teachers begin recycling and composting education through Advisory classes Students take photos and video of ongoing projects Art projects begin January 2016 January 2016 Construction of raised beds begins Art projects continue How Nature Works Lessons (Building a Garden in a Day and Planning Your Garden) February 2016 Voyager teachers continue recycling and composting education through Advisory classes Students take photos and video of ongoing projects Art projects continue Construction of raised beds continues How Nature Works Lessons (Soil, Living Systems) March 2016 Students take photos and video of ongoing projects Complete construction of raised beds How Nature Works Lessons (Gardens Activity Guide: Soil, Gardens Activity Guide: Living Systems) April 2016 Students take photos and video of ongoing projects Landscape the area How Nature Works Lessons (Gardens Activity Guide: Community, Gardens Activity Guide: Food and Carbon) May 2016 Students take photos and video of ongoing projects Raised Beds are placed. Students add soil and seeds Students prepare and send PSA Announcements and Press Releases Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (Voyager Fest) Enlist “Adopt –a-Bed” program How Nature Works Lessons (Caring for Your Garden, Habitat) June/July 2016 Students take photos and video of ongoing projects Raised Beds are placed. Beds are cared for by community members in the “Adopt-a-Bed” program and by the YMCA 21st Century Students. August/September 2016 Students take photos and video of ongoing projects. Harvesting and Sale of Vegetables through Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and FCCLA. How Nature Works Lessons (Renewable Energy). October 2016 Begin planning Phase II (Expansion).
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We will plan the hundred of daffodils bulbs in October, 2015 while they will blossom in the spring 2016. That is the first visible change in the neighborhood. We will plant more in public park next to the school yard.
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Our project will gather community members together to sign a pledge against littering and clean up the community.
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Students created posters and created an infomercial to ready themselves as a part of a school wide Earth day celebration.
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Each year, we have anywhere from 80-200 volunteers. All the volunteers work very hard from 9 am – 12 pm, to collect trash, pulled out weeds(do not allow any and all harmful chemicals on our grounds), re-mulched the trees, flower beds and the nature trail. Girl Scout Troop participate on our Earth Day by teaching our volunteers about water conservation and have “Recycle Craft” table where we teach the volunteers/public how to make everyday items (e.g., bows) from recycled materials. Each year, we preserve our nature and environment by weeding, mulching, watershed clean-up, learning about water preservation and learning to use recycled materials. We work with Longwood University in their Clean Virginia Waterway project by providing trash collected data. Additionally, we sponsor watershed cleanup twice a year in conjunction with our neighboring high school students. We are teaching these students how to participate and lead such events.
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We plan to paint each white classroom building (each is a single classroom) with low VOC environmentally friendly paint, and build a beautiful ecologically friendly garden in all the open areas between buildings and along the paths. We will paint a variety of murals with green messages, especially the three R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We will generate informational signs about environmental stewardship and ways for teens to make a positive impact.
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We gave away 700+ reusable bags to grocery shoppers in honor of Earth Day 2015 and included a stuffer with FAQs about plastic bags and their impact on our communities, the environment and wildlife.

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