First blog, first blog. This provides you with an overview of our Blue Schools project.
Jason Brodersen - proud dad, husband, kite surfer, scientist and VW bus driver - and I founded Blue Schools mostly because we believe in place and problem-based learning and the ability of students to make positive change. I am an educator working at a middle school in Larkspur, CA. We are in the very late stages of forming our CA non-profit and in the early stages working with our first pilot school. This is a condensed overview of our mission and strategy. Let us know what you think.
The simple ideas is this: if we can help school districts and schools become model operations (purchasing, facilities mgt, energy conservation, 3 R's, transportation, waste mgt., food services) and thus responsible social systems; if we can create a foundation for communication and learning (Web 2.0); and we can bury students (can I say 'bury students'?) in an ongoing change process, great things happen. If those same students walk away and think and act differently at the next grade-level, outside of school, in the community -- together we impact the planet.
Here's to Blue-er schools.
The Blue Schools project aims to provide new leadership for protecting our planet by instilling in our K-12 children the essential value of living environment-friendly practices by (1) turning the school itself into a model environmental leader, (2) providing curricula and tools that promote environmental learning, and (3) enacting programs that empower students to be active contributors to the school’s environmental stewardship practices.
The Blue Schools project provides these services at no cost to school districts through grant funding and community partnerships.
What We Do
The Blue Schools project provides a no-cost, one-stop, comprehensive planning, management, and communication process for environmental programs and practices. These programs and practices create a hidden curriculum to enhance the school’s environmental awareness programs.
The Blue Schools project provides tangible tools to implement sound ecological decisions in every decision and behavior conducted by the school, while also ensuring that classroom topics follow state-of-the-art environmental methods, and incorporating student involvement in the school environmental program. We work with schools to manage policies and programs in the following areas:
Setting Baselines and Goals · Teaching and Curricula · School and District Practices · Facilities Management ·Transportation · Food Services · Parent and Stakeholder Communication · Reporting Progress
Why is this Project Important?
A school’s hidden curriculum is a critical influence in student education. By implementing the same environmental themes taught in the classroom, a school demonstrates and reinforces the importance of those values. The Blue Schools project helps schools lead by example to impart essential values like “reduce, reuse, recycle,” energy conservation, and water conservation. The school not only fulfills its own responsibility to use resources wisely, but in so doing provides a powerful tool to enhance classroom lessons.
How is this Project Different?
Schools across the nation have adopted “eco-friendly” and “green” projects into curricula and facilities management. While these projects are a step in the right direction, they often only address a single practice or waste stream, and do not impact overall school policies and behaviors. Examples include classroom paper recycling in the absence of a school-wide recycling or recycled-paper purchasing program, and “bike-to-school” days in the absence of school or school district policies to discourage single-passenger transit. Schools may emphasize the importance of minimizing and recycling plastic, but in turn allow the sale of plastic water bottles at school functions. Many schools aspire to be leaders in environmental practices and recognize the need to provide leadership as environmental stewards, but they lack a comprehensive plan to achieve these goals.
The Blue Schools project results in school practices that set a responsible example of environmental stewardship and create a hidden curriculum of environmental awareness. Our integrated, comprehensive approach teaches students not only the lessons of the classroom but also the essential underlying values, and how to apply those values to protect our planet.
Andy Boone, Founder and Chairman
Jason Brodersen, Founder and CEO