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 has been an extraordinary partner in our work to better tap into the expertise and power of youth here in Denver. Without Earth Force the voice of youth is smaller, less exposed and heard by fewer.
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.
I have partnered with Earthforce for approximately one year, and it is truly a relationship I value. Their expertise with environmental education and their commitment to the youth in our program and within the Denver community goes above and beyond their personal mission. It is an honor and privilege to have them in my core of trusted business relationships.
Earth Force has provided the opportunity for teachers across my county to become involved in water quality monitoring. In addition to this opportunity, they've provided professional development for teachers to encourage service learning and community involvement. There work has allowed every 7 th or 8 th grade student within the Flint River Watershed in Lapeer County to have a real-world, data collecting experience and encourage them to do something positive for the environment and community. Earth Force continues to support my work and my teachers, and honestly, they're just great people!
Earth Force 11/05/2012
Thanks so much for the review!
Earth Force's collaborative approach to everything they do is the standard by which all organizations should work. Earth Force's commitment to quality and follow through, willingness to integrate innovative collaborative processes and their passion for students and the environment are unmatched. Earth Force staff are committed to ongoing, meaningful relationships and impacts for the communities, schools, teachers and students they work with.
Earth Force 10/18/2012
Thank you so much for the review!
Earth Force is an organization of excellence. The staff, events and the curriculum combined provide for a hands on experience that is not offered for professionals wanting to engage students in service learning. The staff are very courteous and truly provide consultation with an individualized touch to help you better what you offer to the community as a professional. The curriculum is broad and specific enough to cater to a youth group that meets anywhere from everyday to every other week. The retreat that is held in the spring is an awesome opportunity for the students to show themselves as leaders in the community with a mission to serve in the capacity they chose by following the steps within the Earth Force Curriculum. My students were enlightened and so proud of themselves when they had the opportunity to share the work they conducted throughout the year. Their eyes lit when they had the opportunity to share these experiences with other adults and students as well. They were honored to win the Earth Force Best Service to the Community Award for the academic year of 2011-2012. This success happened within the first year of using Earth Force's curriculum. This is not to my credit, but truly to the caliber of the students and Earth Force for putting together a curriculum that is easy and manageable enough to dive into.
Earth Force 10/05/2012
Thank you so much for the review!
I have been working with Earth Force of almost a year now and have enjoyed every step along the way. Since I have been in my current position I have had the pleasure if working with Earth Force on two different teacher training events. Our most recent training was in a county that has very little environmental education and was a county that our youth program was not in yet, so there was a lot to get done. I could not have had a successful training without the assistance of the Earth Force employees. Whenever I was unsure of something they were there to answer any question I had and if they did not know off hand they helped me find it out. I stand behind the Earth Force Curriculum 100% but even more important than that is the Earth Force employees stand with you 100%. You can have a great curriculum but if you do not have the great people that Earth Force has than the curriculum means nothing.
Earth Force 10/01/2012
Thank you so much for the review!
Although I have not had much personal experience with Earth Force, I know that they do great work in schools. I had the opportunity to meet with the Germantown Friends School Environmental Action Club and see some of their projects, and I am blown away by the maturity and dedication of these students! They inspire me to continue what I do every day. Earth Force's mission is essential -- we have to involve the youth if we want to save our environment and ourselves. Earth Force gives young students the opportunity to use their imaginations and develop skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Earth Force 10/01/2012
I have been working with Earth Force over the past five years in the capacity of a university professor who uses CAPS (Community Action and Problem Solving) as a methodology for training pre-service teachers. This methodology is excellent for teaching pre-service teachers the importance of critical thinking/problem solving and tolerance/acceptance of alternative points of view...My pre-service teachers learn firsthand that the process is sometimes just as important as the product. These fledgling teachers then take these newly formed skills to their field placements and teach middle school students how to think!!! Most important, the context of the thinking and problem solving is based in critical environmental issues. EF participants learn about problem solving and, because they try to resolve these environmental issues, they become empowered as agents of change that will lead to a healthier planet. EF is meaningful to both teachers and students because they learn scientific content in the context of their local community...thinking and solving problems in your own backyard - PEOPLE can make a difference and this is the mantra that EF espouses.
Earth Force 09/26/2012
Thank you so much for the feedback! We are so honored to partner with you and engage our pre-service educators in a new way of thinking.
Earth Force is a living example of what doing 'good' means. They are an incredible group of people who work tirelessly to promote opportunities for youth voice to be heard, and youth hands to be active in shaping the communities they desire. Thanks Earth Force for all you do!
Earth Force is an amazing organization that provides a necessary and valuable service to under-served youth. I had the pleasure of working with EF and group of middle school students in Belen, NM, where we used the EF process to create strong connections between the local environment and the community. Best of all, by learning how to create a community garden, test water quality of the local acequias, plant trees in local parks, and repair a greenhouse at an elementary school, the students realized that they were part of their community as well. They became more invested in their local government, and their community was impressed with the efforts of these students. It's just a great program making crucial connections in important ways.
Earth Force 05/02/2012
Thank you so much for the kind words!
The SEWEE Association is a partner environmental education non-profit that work with Lowcountry Earth Force on service learning projects that benefit our National Forest and National Wildlife Refuges. Earth Force provides teachers with the expertise to help their students execute projects such as reducing the amount of plastic bags used by selling cloth grocery bag. This limits the number of plastic bags littered into the environment which harm the threatened Loggerhead sea turtle. Cape Romain Refuge works hard to protect sea turtle nests on the beaches and now the students work to protect the sea turtles once they are in the ocean. This partnership is mutually beneficial to us at the Sewee Center.
I have worked in partnership with Earth Force, helping students educate their community about the hazards that Diamondback Terrapins face in the salt marshes of South Carolina. Earth Force gave these students knowledge about how to take a problem, research the problem, then take steps to solve it. It is a great model for how to teach students to think critically and be an active citizen.