The City Green Environmental Club Program, “Make a Difference”
It started with a call from a teacher who wanted a student-led recycling program and has grown into a network of middle school environmental clubs throughout Paterson and Jersey City!
The City Green “Make a Difference” Environmental Club Program is designed as a student driven club program, helping students gain the tools they need to take action on issues that are important to them in their home communities.
City Green supports club activities with our “Make a Difference” club manual, on-site educational programs, monthly newsletters, an annual Go Green Conference in partnership with Ramapo College’s Environmental Club One Step, and an annual two-day environmental field day, “The Harmony Project".
City Green also facilitates Collective Action projects where clubs come together to take action for greater impact and awareness.
To get an Environmental Club started at your school, contact the City Green School Grounds team at (973) 869 – 4086. We will schedule an on-site consultation, provide teacher training for the Make a Difference Club Manual, and help get your dynamic club up and running!
By engaging students in identifying environmental strengths and weaknesses in their community, helping them to understand their capacity to take action within their community, and helping them to educate their community, The Make a Difference Club program encourages students to gain a real understanding of their place in the environment. By encouraging students to become eco-literate, we are working to inspire a relationship with the natural world; a philosophy that consults impact on the environment when decision making; and an attitude of including the environment and nature as an essential part of one’s “community”. We feel that this approach will instigate an ecological perspective that will hopefully continue throughout a child’s life. As more and more of the population become urbanized, the sustainability of the environment and of our food system will depend on educating urban populations on our ultimate but sometimes unapparent dependence on the earth and its natural systems.
CITY GREEN SUPPORT:
Make a Difference Club Manual: This teacher program was designed specifically for Middle School Environmental Clubs – Grades 6-8. The program begins with a recycling initiative and goes on to provide lessons plans related to diverse environmental issues and corresponding ideas for instituting change in your school and community. The manual explores methods of community action, how to identify issues in your community, and a variety of projects to coordinate with your club.
The “Go Green” Environmental Conference: Each fall City Green, in coordination with Ramapo College’s Environmental Club One Step, hosts a “Go-Green Conference” at Ramapo College open to all Environmental Clubs. Participation in the conference helps members to deepen their awareness of environmental issues, learn about careers in the “green sector,” network with club members from other schools, create goals for their clubs, develop collective action initiatives with other clubs and tour one of the state’s premier liberal arts colleges!
The “Harmony Project Environmental” Field Day: Each Spring Environmental Club members gather for hands-on environmental learning opportunities at the City Green Learning Garden in Eastside Park, or at Garret Mountain. Investigations include water studies, pollution model exploration, nature hikes, sustainable agriculture studies and other topics related to current environmental issues.
Newsletters and Blog: City Green distributes two bi-monthly newsletters to Environmental Club members: The Environmental Exchange newsletter highlights the successes and triumphs of clubs, and the projects they are working on. The Branching Out newsletter provides innovative ideas, suggestions, resources, reminders and grant opportunity alerts for club members and facilitators. The Make a Difference Blog is a way for clubs to stay in touch, share their latest accomplishments, and reach out to other clubs to coordinate collective action projects.