Captain Planet Foundation, Atlanta, GA

Thanks to the Keep America Beautiful & Lowe’s Community Grant Program, The Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) successfully installed the Captain Planet Learning Gardens (CPLG) Program in 8 Ventura County elementary schools, impacting a grand total of 7,425 students!

CPF provided the schools with all necessary Learning Garden Tools to launch the program, including garden installation, interpretive garden signs for self-guided learning, garden-based lesson plans tied to standards (three lessons per grade K-5), lesson supply kits for each lesson, supplies needed to teach lessons outdoors, a mobile cooking cart, 2-day professional development/teacher training workshop, a plan for summer garden maintenance and a ‘Sustainability Toolkit.’

By participating in this program, students came away with a better understanding of their everyday connections to nature, a deeper understanding of food origins, and a heightened interest in fresh foods. When CPF chose Ventura County as a location to host a California Pilot of the CPLG Program, we wanted to:

– Increase the visibility and awareness of Keep America Beautiful within a county where there is currently no KAB affiliate
– Help children in this underserved county make the connection between the food they eat daily and the agricultural basin in which they live.

Through this program, students learned core subjects in the context of a garden, were able to taste and consume fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the garden, and participate in cooking demonstrations facilitated by the mobile cooking cart. Teachers reported that students were extremely receptive to trying new fruits and vegetables and were eager to spend more time in the garden!

Through a series of surveys we collected, we learned that even the teachers benefited a great deal as well! Many of our target educators felt inspired and engaged, felt that the professional development workshop hosted by CPF was one of the best they’ve attended, and in some cases, teachers began to write their own garden based lessons beyond those included with the Program.

Thank you Keep America Beautiful & Lowe’s for allowing CPF to bring our successful Learning Gardens Program to California! We hope to work with you again soon!

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, Oklahoma City, OK

Located in Edmond, Okla., St. Mary’s Episcopal School’s Beyond the Classroom program offers special morning and afternoon childcare in an effort to provide children with a safe, secure, “home away from home” atmosphere. Beyond the Classroom students (BTC) focused their Great American Cleanup (GAC) efforts on 60 acres of school grounds. The students worked to expand the nesting boxes trail for bluebirds, cut down invasive pears in the native grasses with easy-to-use tools provided by Troy-Bilt. They also installed two outdoor classrooms of stones that are sustainable, low maintenance and will last forever.

Students cleaned up ponds as the water levels dropped, trail litter clean ups each visit, monitored the nesting of birds at St. Mary’s and earned national recognition as Advanced Bird Sanctuary by National Wildfire Federation. Donna Mackiewicz is the Director of Beyond the Classroom at St. Mary’s Episcopal School and is constantly participating in Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s programs. We appreciate everything she is doing to help students grow. Way to go BTC!

Keep Moore County Beautiful – Carthage, N.C.

On April 24th, 2014 Keep Moore County Beautiful celebrated Earth Day at the Pinehurst Elementary School’s “Earth Day Expo.” Executive Director, Chad Beane, had 500 kids participating in his interactive Recycling Game and was able to distribute recycling and anti-litter stickers and tattoos to the kids from our booth.

Keep Westmoreland County Beautiful

Keep Westmoreland County Beautiful received a $10,000 WM Think Green Grant to implement a multifamily dwelling (apartment) recycling program for up to 500 apartment units. Three apartment complexes were chosen to test the pilot program. Educational material on single stream recycling (2 complexes), and a municipal recycling program (1 complex) were developed unique to each facility; apartment-sized recycling totes were purchased for each unit and hand-delivered to each resident. Waste Management assisted with selection of the appropriate collection method and schedule for each facility. After some initial skepticism, residents seem to have really taken to the recycling program and are anxious to see it continue. Apartment managers seem pleasantly surprised by the reaction and participation of their residents.

Keep Charleston Beautiful

The City of Charleston’s Keep Charleston Beautiful (KCB) strives to maintain the beauty of Charleston via numerous efforts, particularly public awareness and education. To reach our goals of a cleaner tomorrow through education KCB offers school based education programs free of charge to both elementary and middle schools in Charleston.

The award winning Clean City Clara Program is a wonderful way to introduce litter prevention and recycling to young students. The program takes elementary aged children on an imaginative journey, from a cup littered on the ground, down a storm drain, and out into the harbor where it impacts wildlife. The children then help clean up the littered stage and learn about recycling while engaging with Clara, the litter prevention pelican mascot of KCB.

At the conclusion of the program, students receive a storybook highlighting the adventures of Clara, an activity book, and a pencil made from recycled materials. Last school year KCB saw 4,458 elementary school students, hosting 45 programs in 30 different elementary schools. KCB’s Talking Trash Program, a sister program to Clean City Clara, is tailored to teach middle school students numerous environmental topics, including: proper waste management; stormwater quality; marine debris and its impacts on wildlife, the community, and habitat; and school and student involvement in the community.

Twenty-two Talking Trash programs were presented during the 2012/2013 school year, reaching a total of 470 middle school students. KCB strives to maintain continuous contact with school and teachers through free education and community involvement programs. So far in the 2013/2014 school year, KCB has presented 27 programs, at 13 different schools, reaching a total of 1,113 elementary and middle school students. Providing free, fun, informative litter prevention messages to local youth is crucial for preventing future litter in our community. Litter prevention education programs are funded through support from Friends of KCB, PalmettoPride, the City of Charleston, and Keep America Beautiful.