On Thursday, June 9th Calverton 5th graders displayed and explained a number of greening products they created in their class. Teacher Kyair Butts, a member of Urban Teachers, led students through an innovative building project that worked with community partner the Tool Library. Students divided up in teams and created products to address different issues. The three projects on display addressed issues such as trash and working on community gardens. After a planning process, students used tools and materials to create their products, prototypes that can be used in the community. These innovations were created to help meet the city’s sustainability goals–particularly recycling. We are striving to get more schools throughout the district to recycle, which has had participation as low as 50% this past year.This work towards meeting the city’s sustainability goals comes at a great time when the Baltimore Office of Sustainability is currently redrafting the city’s Sustainability Plan. A community process is underway that includes the recruitment of 10 Community Ambassadors in 10 districts throughout the city to get input on priority areas and direct the development of the plan. The plan this time around will be developed with an equity lens and the Baltimore Office of Sustainability has contracted the Associated Black Charities in order to help them do so. A team of Youth Ambassadors will also be recruited to ensure that the youth voice is integrated into the plan.
Kyair’s students are an example of students that have taken on ambassadorship without knowing it and are actively working to help meet city goals. We hope that they keep innovating and stay engaged in sustainability projects throughout their time at Calverton.