Focusing in at The U School

A challenge we have been facing at the U School is getting kids from all grade levels involved in sustainability action and awareness in their community. Because Anna teaches a senior level class, it has been easy to heavily involve the seniors with background building, community partners, and hearing their opinions on sustainability at the school.

In order to tackle this problem, we implemented an after school club called the Forces of Nature that pulls kids from all grade levels. This idea to make a club came from one of the 10th grade students we brought to a Saturday workshop. Each week I create a loose agenda for the meeting to help the group develop goals, and then Anna gives me the notes from the meeting. So far, the club has met 3 times and has decided to focus on the problem of litter in and around the school. This fits in great with our theme of reclaiming the community, and it was the issue that the students found most important. To act on it, we have partnered with the Clean Futures challenge that has made a trash pick up challenge through the app Litterati. Our goal is to pick up 5,000 pieces of trash and document what type of litter we find the most.

I have found the club to be a successful form of a focus group, as students were able to voice their opinions on what they find most important and we were able to help them take action.

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