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.
Earth Force commitments to helping young people understand and appreciate our watershed is invaluable. Earth Force clearly recognize that laying a foundation for well informed natural resource leaders of the future we have to work as partners with the youth in our community today. Earth Force is a model organization in youth engagement!
Earth Force has been a wonderful partner of Groundwork Anacostia River DC. Because of their wonderful team and devoted environmental work, we've been able to connect with middle school students and encourage environmental leadership and stewardship.
As the leader of an effort to bring the environmental movement to the inner-city from an inner-city community based perspective, Earth Force has been the only major K-12 environmental organization that has heard what I have been attempting to get others like them to hear.
We in the inner-city only receive what is perceived as the caliber of programs that are needed. No one takes the time to see or ask if indeed this is what is needed, it is just taken for granted that what is being offered will work or prove to have benefits.
Not only did the executive director of Earth Force listen, and hear, she actually came to my city (Kansas City, Kansas) toured my communities for herself while I explained what I saw as being a need. Then she met with various key citywide stakeholders. After which she started working from her perspective to find a way to work within what I had described as our most needed areas.
From that effort came an after school program where a local environmental organization received funding from Earth Force & EPA, to teach 130 students in the science department inside a local high school within the low-income community.
The organization taught the students how to teach elementary students second semester how too actually use a scientific process to professionally test the water is a nearby lake.
At the end of the first semester, 10 of the 130 students were hired to teach one of 10 one day a week after school classes for 25 students from an elementary school that was located 2 block from the lake.
At the end of every class the student teacher, would receive $100 cash.
I could go on and on listing the benefits of this program, but needless to say, the dynamic of this program can clearly be seen by anyone who truly understand the kind of scientific education we need in our inner-cities. It was an example of a program that could easily be duplicated all over the country.
And it was a program that truly came from the bottom up, and not some program that was created, and given to the community as what it was felt they needed.
Earth Force had the ability and leadership to see what it was I was saying needed to be instilled in our communities as an initial STEM education approach. They also saw how a worthwhile program in some inner-city community center, could be complimentary to what was being taught in the public school systems.
As far as I am concerned, Earth Force is light years ahead of others who are involved in our STEM K-12 educational programs, as far as their understanding of a real inner-city perspective. They actually listen, and are willing to take a chance.
For that they receive my recommendation as one of the best environmental Non-Profits in America, and I have personally worked with a lot of them, in one way or another.
Earth Force is an organization that serves as an example to so many others. Their process seamlessly integrates STEM, individual skills development for youth, and community engagement. Participants gain essential skills they will be able to apply in any setting. Earth Force is well established with a great reputation, yet manages to stay current and innovative.
Earth Force is a great organization here in Denver. They have an abundance of great resources for any non-profit in the Environmental Field (lessons, give-aways, trainings, helpers). They always attend our events and educate the public!
I am grateful that Earth Force’s Youth Engagement Zone was one of Learn and Serve America’s legacy programs. Their high-quality work allowed this program to go out on a very high note. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a team who was as committed to making a difference in their community and in the world. Hats off to Earth Force!
I have a long history with Earth Force as a former staff member who has carried the core beliefs and vision of the organization with me. Earth Force's work is vital at a time when communities are increasingly short on resources to support the authentic civic engagement of their youngest citizens. In my current position, we are fortunate to enjoy a fantastic partnership with Earth Force that continues to grow. Most recently this partnership has allowed us to feature educators and students who have worked on long-term water monitoring projects in our series of educational videos. We look forward to many more opportunities to work together!
I am a grateful member of the Earth Force network and I continue to be impressed with their work and its impact on youth as well as teachers. I am a teacher educator who strives to teach my pre-service teachers "best practices" in the field. I continuously try to help my college students see that a program is GOOD when it has a sound theoretic backing. Earth Force follows in the tradition of John Dewey and his focus on meaningful problem solving where reflection is KEY to growth and learning. I have watched my college students grow as they work with elementary and middle school children collaboratively exploring their communities, identifying environmental issues, and developing strategies that will be used to address these issues. The program allows my pre-service teachers to learn to facilitate and guide their students toward possible solutions to a selected problem; but the most impressive part of the program is that these problems and strategies toward solution are student-selected and student-led. Earth Force values the capacity of its participants whether it is teacher, elementary/middle school student, pre-service teacher or college professor.
Earth Force is a program that is consistent with ideas embedded in service learning because it allows both the pre-service teachers and their students to grow while redressing meaningful, authentic problems. Watching the pre-service teachers work with their elementary and middle level students reflects the importance of youth voice. I am proud to watch these pre-service teachers actually hand over the reigns of their lessons to children, trusting that the Earth Force process will provide the needed structure that will lead to deep and meaningful learning. Traditional course work and assignments could never foster the kinds of learning that Earth Force is capable of providing to youth and teachers alike.
I have known and worked with the staff at Earth Force for more than five years. One of the most amazing things about them is that they are the same people today that they were five years ago! In other words, once you start working at Earth Force you never want to leave. The staff retention is a strong testament to the steady management of the organization and a wonderful statement about the value of the mission.