In a world increasingly driven by organizations or initiatives with stylistic visual "packaging", but often lacking in substance, Earth Force rises above the fray with high quality youth programs with long-term impact. Beyond the logos and graphics, which Earth Force does well, one quickly realizes the organization is about the people and community. Earth Force representatives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina have always been there for us as a partner in a regional education consortium. Phone calls like "Can you help us spread the word about summer camp?" to "Can you help gather a youth group for storm drain marking", are always answered with "Yes, we'll be glad to support the effort!" There are no territory issues, no egos, just the work, a spirit of collaboration, and the community goals. In the field of environmental stewardship, it becomes evident that change begins at the community-level, and often youth are the ripples in the pond that impact their families and communities. Earth Force programs reinforce the community ideal and aim at developing a long-term relationship, not just an episodic event, with youth.
Led by a group of creative innovators, Earth Force has supported students at George Washington Middle School (GWMS) located in Alexandria, VA in becoming active eco-citizens. My involvement with Earth Force began six years ago when I attended a training on using the Earth Force curriculum. Since first learning about the programs offered by Earth Force I have received consistent and positive support in implementing the programs that allow our students to solve real world problems in their community. The dedication of this non-profit has led to an improved community and an engaged youth that understand how to make positive change.
Earth Force has given our students the opportunities to showcase what they can do to make a difference and allows them to earn funds through the Caring for our Watershed Grant Competition. The past several years, our students at GWMS have earned nearly $4,000 toward making ecological improvement to their watershed. The student-led approach to the curriculum allows students to find and use their youth voice in a positive way. Additionally, partnerships that Earth Force maintains, allows our students to reach a global audience.
It is with their support and the teaching style I now use based on the Earth Force curriculum that I received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators in 2013 from the White House Council on Environment Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The essential elements that Earth Force provides allows students to become actively involved in solving environmental issues. They provide grant funding through the Caring for our Watershed Competition, designing curriculum geared to teaching students to solve global issues, and showcasing student work to a global audience. With the tools that Earth Force supplies, teachers are equipped to actively engage students in finding innovative solutions to improve their watershed.
As a participant in the Earth Force program for over 16 years, I can say with great confidence that Earth Force's Caring for Our Watershed program inspire students to take responsibility for their environment. My sixth graders learn that their opinions matter and that there are wonderful people who will assist them in their goal to solve a problem within their watershed.
Throughout the process, from identifying the problem to researching solutions and actually carrying out the solution, Earth Force supports the teachers and students. It may be through providing supplies and assistance when water testing or coming and listening to students verbalize their concerns and brainstorm ideas for solutions. Volunteers from the students area of interest come and help students' ideas become a concrete plan. The financial support makes it a reality.
My students are now stewards of their watershed because of Earth Force.
How do you spark interest in students and volunteers that lasts and makes them want to learn more, do more, help more, and become more engaged as citizens? Put simply, Earth Force.
Over the last decade, Earth Force has made serving and improving our community exciting, easy, and fulfilling. It sets itself apart by empowering youth voice and creating long-term solutions that make sense for our community. After the program, students have reflected with comments like “this project helped us show adults that kids our age can do more than just play video games,” and “now I want to pick up litter when I see it and help teach others why they should, too.”
Earth Force takes the guesswork and headache out of typical non-profit issues such as funding, media, and support so we can focus on connecting with youth and cultivating better business and community practices. We cannot say enough about this organization’s culture and professional, passionate team. Earth Force’s collaborative approach and program framework are an icon for non-profits and for the future of environmental education in North America.
Leslie Science & Nature Center has been working with Earthforce, Inc. for many years with the GM GREEN program. We have continually been impressed with their professionalism as well as their dedication to the environment and striving to be the leader in educating and engaging youth. I look forward to many more years of collaboration with Earthforce, Inc.
As a start up organization and new kid on block, Earth Force gets partnership. The staff and organization in general have been supportive and instrumental in our mission to support girls of color in STEM. In addition, the knowledge and depth about Water Shed learning and hands on implementation is excellent. I look forward to more collaborative work with the organization, and when it comes to water learning - Who Do You Call? Earth Force.
Dr. Justina Ford STEM Institute
Earth Force is a great organization that supports "water Education" here in Denver. I was fortunate to learn about them at the Project Wet conference in July held in Denver. My students last year were very excited to use the materials I was given by Earth Force. They were able to interface with city departments regarding storm drainage and created a way to educate the community about storm drainage, water conservation and water pollution This year, my new class of 5th graders are also excited about Earth Force and are looking forward to doing a community project as well. This type of learning experiences are remembered for a long time after. Thanks for being there
Earthforce has been an amazing partner for me in the NW Denver community. In particular, Lisa Bardwell does everything that she can to improcve the quality of life for the communities that she lives and works in. Thanks Lisa for all that you do.
Earth Force put on a great activity for the kids who came to Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day for us. We really appreciate their willingness to volunteer their time and expertise. The kids all had fun and learned a lot.
My focus and purpose in utilizing Earth Force's curriculum is for service learning as a means to civic engagement. Earth Force makes the assignments and tasks for effective service learning accessible for professionals who may not be trained as teachers, but want to serve youth. Thank you Earth Force for your work!!!
I have been working with Earth Force for about a year in the capacity of partner organization. Each staff member I've encountered has been passionate and knowledgeable. The program itself is set up to engage students and teachers in meaningful environmental education and service learning situations. Earth Force GREEN empowers students, teachers, and partner organizations to make a real difference in their communities.
Earth Force 04/24/2012
Thank you for the kind review, Teddy! We're so glad to have you as a partner!