How much does the program cost? It's completely FREE of charge to all teachers and schools.
Who can sign-up/participate? Any teacher/administrator from a public, charter, independent or international school may sign-up to have their class(es) participate. (Note: Because of our funding structure, it is necessary that a minimum of 4 teachers/classes at each school participate. If you are interested, simply recruit 3 of your colleagues and the project is a go! Sign-up online under "Teachers/Schools."
How long does the project take? The expectation is that teachers teach 4-6 lessons/activities and then complete the bag illustration component with their students. The project is normally spread out over 3-4 weeks. However, we know how full a teacher's plate can be and leave the scheduling to them! (We do ask that everything be completed within a 10 week max.)
Can I use my own lessons? Yes, absolutely! If you have ideas, lessons, videos, being-there experiences that teach your students concepts of sustainability, being a good steward of their environment and/or how to take personal action to better preserve our planet, then by all means use them! (Or use some of your own and some of our lessons...As long as students are exposed to these valuable concepts and see how they can make an impact.)
Who pays for the project? We are a registered non-profit organization and receive funding from donations, grants sponsorship and through the sales of Bagitos, micro-stuffable reusable shopping bags for your key ring (www.Bagito.co) We see the importance of the private sector and the public sector working more closely together supporting each other. Our program sponsorship model allows local businesses and organizations to fund the project (at the low cost of about $1.75 per student) and become involved in helping both their business and future generations become more savy environmental stewards.
Who decides if the finished bags are sold or given away? We work with the sponsor and each school community to make this decision. In some schools, there is more value and meaning simply giving the bags to each student so that they can go home and share it and their learning with their parents and families. In other schools, the impact is greatest if the bags are sold, and the proceeds go back to each teacher for further science learning.
How did the project start? Living in NYC, Mitch (the founder and director) saw a critical gap in the teaching and learning of environmental education, even around simple concepts like recycling and bringing your own bag when you go shopping. In an effort to reverse this trend and provide the next generation with important skills and ideals, he along with several teachers created the project. In 2008, with support from Whole Foods Markets and the Council on the Environment of New York City the project reached 1000 students in 12 elementary, middle and high schools in four boroughs. Since then, Mitch has moved back to Northern California and brought the project to 3000 more students.
If we participate once, can we participate again? YES! We encourage teachers to repeat the project with each year's successive students. Simply re-enroll via the online application and you are good to go.
How can students begin to take action, after completing the project? This is an important component that we are currently expanding. Establishing a school Green Club is a first step. We are currently working on a school and home sustainability audit program that motivated students can complete both at school and at home and share their results online. Look for this in the Fall of 2013.
What are the Bagitos? Bagitos are micro-stuffable resuable shopping bags designed to hang on a person's key ring. The idea being, that when a person runs into a convenience store, drug store, hardware store, clothes shop, (even take out food restaurant) they will always have at least one bag with them! We created and are selling them to support the Power2Sustain project. 100% of the net profits go to Power2Sustain. They are currently available in Whole Foods Markets, New Leaf Markets, Staff of Life Market and online at: www.Bagito.co
Can I volunteer for the project? Yes, we are always looking for volunteers to assist teachers with presenting lessons and activities in the classroom and for special projects like Earth Day events. Please contact us at: Info@Power2Sustain.org for more information and to sign-up to volunteer.