Thursday, March 10, 2011
Global Youth Service Day Project 3/4/11
College Mentors lead a team of high school students in planning
water related service projects that will become part of Global
Youth Service Day (April 2011)
Right off the bat, on the first day I realized that I was paired with a group of four girls that were very bright and dedicated to their schooling. Not only were they ready to get started, but their ideas of getting everyone involved impressed me very much.
These girls are working on recycling awareness and are creating a Water Bottle Challenge for their entire school to take part in. Not only will the school have a chance to recycle, but they will also have the opportunity on Global Youth Service Day to paint and decorate the water bottles. These bottles are going to be made into a structure resembling a tree, which will be located in the school court yard. They have plans to make an educational plaque for the community members who pass by. This week they are proposing to the Dean of their school to have the O.K. for the challenge and the placement of the water bottle structure. This bright and talented team did a great job putting their heads together to get the entire school involved!
While it has been a while since I have talked to you, the St Joan Antida groups are making huge steps in defining their project. With the group I was designated to mentor throughout the semester, we finally started putting together our “final” project description. The group of ladies I am helping with came up with a great idea of promoting hygiene products and how it affects the water system as well as the human skin/hair. In other words, we are going to make shampoo, conditioner, and a bar of soap to form a hygiene kit that would help lessen the pollution into our water. After making our products we will then store the conditioner and shampoo in sample bottles that would come from recycled material or green products. When all the sample bottles are filled (approx. 50 of each) we will be handing them out to many of the volunteers that are working the week of the Youth Global Day.
While the main focus in our group is creating hair products that are organic to help the water system, the group also believed they would promote their products as well as giving them away as samples. Many of the girls wanted to make posters, create a facebook group, and give away other samples to some of their peers at school. By being able to define our product more clearly, it has made the group more focused and able to see the end result. Also, our project has its outline, now we are just waiting for all the ingredients we will need to create our “kit.” While I am not sure, how the products will turn out or who will want to be our guinea pig to try out the product, but I am sure the girls are very excited about their creation and are ready to start telling people about it.
This past week, the class at the school had a career day field trip, so we did not meet at Saint Joan Antida, however, I did get their contact information and will make sure to use facebook as a means to communicate with each girl. Tomorrow, we will fill out our budget request form and figure out the supplies needed and their costs for our rain garden project. I have made contact with Dave from Groundwork Milwaukee and he has some great questions to propose for my girls. Things such as: How big of a rain garden are you thinking of? How big is the area that would be draining to it? Are you thinking of taking on a larger project that involves replacing existing soil with "engineered soil"? How long do we have to plan for it? How much time to you have to put into this project?
These are all things I do need to either go over again or bring up tomorrow when I meet with the group. We have a ton of work to do, but it will be worth it!
-Mary Jane Kunath
At The School for Urban Planning and Architecture (SUPAR), a group of students involved in Lead to Succeed have been learning all about how clean water leads to healthy lives. The students were given a task earlier in the year to plan out and follow through with a project to present and construct at Global Youth Service Day this April 15-17, 2011. These students came up with a great idea of presenting an outdoor classroom alongside the Kinnickinnic River. The team has divided into four groups consisting of: a mural group, a bench/sitting area group, a native plant group, and a podium/plaque group; in which Petra Duecker (Facilitator and Account Manager for the project), Claire Fieber of 16th Street Community Center (another mentor for the project), and myself will give them guidance and help them to stay on track with the project.
Each group has the responsibility to research the costs of the materials, contact the group in charge of funding their project, and to create a reasonable timeline in order to accomplish their mission. Although the students have huge visions and expectations for this project, the hard part is for the students to put their great ideas onto a solid and realistic plan so they have time to finish everything on time. So far, everything has been going very well. I just met with Evan McDoniels from 16th Street Community Health Center, Petra Duecker, and Kristin Kurzka of the SIGMA Group to discuss the project and set future goals in order to help the students stay on track with this project. We discussed where the classroom will be located, what types of materials we can and cannot use, and how much time and money this will take in order to be completed. This project is definitely something the students will feel good about once finished knowing they did a part in helping their community.