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!!!
From the many years that I have spent working with Earth Force I can honestly say I've watched and experienced the organization grow from a good thing, to a pilliar of excellence in the field youth leadership and environmental education. I watched with awe the tenacity, grace, and agility employed in restructuring the organization. I also saw the care and empathy used in communicating and working with the staff members around the changes. As a board member I can say that the leadership made very difficult decisions that ultimately steered the ship towards bold innovations and success. Earth Force wouldn't be the organization that it is without that type of dynamic and sensitive leadership. And the people who would loose the most are the students whose lives are positively impacted by that marvelous six step process.
I started with EarthForce in the 3rd grade, my first service project was on community recycling and this project was presented to an audotorim filled with proud parents from the best low-income neighborhood in the world; the Five-Points community in Denver, Colorado. I continued with Earthforce engaging in a number of other service projects eventaully becoming a class room assistant at both Swansea Elementary and Columbine Elementary schools. I assisted some of the best kids I ever met in their own, youth driven service learning process. At a young age, these experiences challenged my understanding of environmental thought as it applied to poverty, youth activism and community education and engagement. During my last high school years I worked at the FrontRange Earth Force office and served as a local board member and eventually as a national board member. Having the ability to learn from and engage with these intelligent, progressive, and down-to-earth individuals ultimately helped to shape my relationship to the professional world and at the same time keep me grounded in what meant the most to me. Creating active and empowered individuals from all walks of life, building stronger more sustainable communities, and bringing everyone to the table in discussions about environmental action.
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!
Working with Earth Force over the last 6 years has changed the way I teach and the way my students learn. While environmental science is nice to talk about, it is meant to be experienced.The support and coordination with Earth Force has showed our students that "Science is REAL!"
The dynamic people at Earth Force have allowed our district to take over 800 8th Grade students on a water monitoring experience each year. This experience has become the centerpiece of a meaningful science curriculum. By gaining hands on experience while working elbow to elbow with actual environmental engineers, our students develop a passion for their investigations and take ownership of their discoveries.
Bringing together and coordinating all of the different people and entities required to pull this off is not an easy task. We would not be able to provide this powerful impacting experience for our students without the support of Earth Force.
I have been involved with Earth Force for the last decade. The environmental education curriculum that Earth Force provides has been an excellent way for our organization to engage hundreds of youth in community-action projects that have benefited the local environment. Earth Force provides teachers and students with the tools they need to become effective environmental and civic leaders in their community. We have benefited from the support of Earth Force staff, and from being a part of a national movement of youth that are taking action to improve the quality of the environment in their communities and in their schools.
The James Island Community Education program has worked with Earth Force in different capacities over the years. Most recently, JICE and Earthforce have partnered with one another for the possibility of being awarded a grant to carry on Service Learning projects through out the community. From the begining, Earthforce was a positive partner and Theresa and Stacey worked diligently alongside many partners that came together for this. Earthforce is known to be the gurus of service learning and working with them reinforces that they are experts in the field. We were ultimately awarded the 4 year grant due to Earthforce's efforts. Getting the grant is one thing, but implementing it on such as large scale as this is another. The partners we have make this possible, and Earthforce's expertise and ability to develop these projects along with them many resources they have, has certainly been the reason why we have gotten this far and been successful. They have been willing to jump in and do what is needed to get the job done, and it is much appreciated!
I want to thank Earth Force (Steve and Kurt )so much for allowing the kids to take the trip to Dupont Park. They really enjoyed it. Believe it or not, I chose some of the students who had a few behavioral problems and they were escatic about the things you guys exposed them to. One of the little girl is still looking at the fecal matter that was in the tube that you gave her. Thank you for putting a smile on their faces. I really mean it from the bottom of my heart.
Earth Force provides invaluable funding, expertise, and activities for my students for the past 6 years. They provide equipment and materials for stream monitoring and buses for field trips. Each year they organize a Youth Summit in which students can participate in a variety of environmental activities to enhance their eco-awareness and learn from a variety of professionals within ecological areas. They have provided training for teachers within my district. They fund professional development opportunities for teachers.
Earth Force is one of the BEST organizations to help students provide a voice in their communities. The staff at Earth force are extremely knowledgeable. Each year an Earth Force staff member presents the Earth Force concept to my high school students. My students do a community inventory of what environmental issue needs to be changed or improved. The students must consider sustainability, time and cost before selecting their community service learning project. If there is a cost, students must write grants or get donations. The projects have included issues such as business recycling, lowering CO2 emissions, education, oyster recycling, creating nature trail for another school, building a greenhouse and a 10-10-10- project with 350.org.
Earth Force has supported my local efforts from day one. I am able to turn to Earth Force staff to help me provide water quality education to hundreds of students in my area. While I know the Earth Force staff with whom I regularly communicate are very busy people, everyone has been very helpful and supportive of the program I oversee. Thank you Alyssa and Jan! Thank you also Erin and Dana, Earth Force people I have worked with in the past.