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Posts tagged ‘community’

Problems in Our Backyard

What changes when young students grapple with real, local issues?

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Venturing Beyond the School

A curriculum of experiences in the world

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Uncaging Imagination with Guerilla Geography

An innovative way to creatively transform learners of all ages into curious explorers

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Doing Business in Birmingham

This award-winning project leverages technology to help students understand and promote sustainability within the local business community.

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Training the Next Generation of Leaders

The Young Adults Environmental Leadership Program provides youth aged 12 to 18 with training, expertise and guidance in developing and implementing community environmental projects

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Community-Character Education

Exploring, defining and enhancing the visual environment of our communities.

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Good Design Matters

Growth is inevitable, but the destruction of community character and natural resources that too often accompanies it is not.

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Urban Gardening Renaissance

Urban school gardens reach out to their communities and complement "green school" philosophy.

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School Food Gardens in Multicultural Inner-city Settings

A model for maintaining gardening programs year round through school-community partnerships.

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Students as Town Planners

A civic-based community-planning curriculum.

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Using the Arts to Reclaim Community Pride

Originally appears in the Fall 2007 issue

Young people today in southeastern Tennessee never knew the barren red hills and deep eroded gullies that were here in their grandparents’ day. By the late 1800s, open-pit roasting of copper ore in the Copper Basin of the southern Appalachians had produced the largest man-made biological desert in the United States, and the ecosystem was in trouble. Fifty square miles of forested land had been stripped bare to provide fuel for the processing of copper ore; and any vegetation that was not lost to clearcutting had been decimated by the sulfur dioxide fumes released in the ore roasting. The Basin had become so barren that the bald, red land could be seen decades later from space as a huge scar on the landscape — other than the Great Wall of China, the only man-made feature on the planet that could be recognized from that distance. Today, the natural beauty of the Copper Basin is re-emerging as the result of a successful but ongoing environmental reclamation project, a combined effort of government, private companies and local citizens and organizations.

Given the community’s history of environmental degradation in the pursuit of economic goals, teachers at Copper Basin High School were determined to create a better future by educating their Grade 7-12 students about community pride and character. Successful community partnerships helped us establish a Learning Center at the school, and the arts became a focus of a progression of activities that has expanded over the past five years. In this article, I will outline a number of our arts-oriented initiatives, as well as the partnerships and community support we have developed to maintain the program in our small high school of 331 students.

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Angie Cook is the Coordinator of the Copper Basin Learning Center and a professional teaching artist with Artist-In-Education programs in Tennessee and Georgia. She is very interested in connecting cultural history and environmental concerns through the arts.

Student “Experts” in Community Character

An interdisciplinary unit for middle school grades.

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Inspiring Eco-Clubs in South India

A description of how an organic farming program at impoverished schools in south India has improved health, and increased environmental awareness and self esteem amongst students, teachers, and communities.

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Localism as a Guiding Framework for Schools

Placing more focus on local issues in educational programs can serve to deepen students’ understanding of global issues, and increase caring and enthusiasm for learning.

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Parties, Praise, and Plastic Bottles

Three projects to help elementary schools up their green factor – creating a reusable classroom party box, celebrating environmental ‘idols’ in the school and community, and setting environmental world records.

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Climate Change Summits for Teens

How partnering with university faculty to host climate change summits for teens in New Jersey has motivated students to educate their own communities.

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