The Denver Green School Tuesday/Thursday Community Adventure Program (CAP) class recently completed an Action Project to address an issue they studied and identified in their community: water pollution. The students spent several weeks designing and planning a project to address this problem and initiate change in their community. The project that they proposed was a clean-up of Cherry Creek, a creek that runs close to DGS and is often quite polluted.
The Media Relations/Public Relations team was in charge of promoting the event and informing the public and community about the project. They reached out to local news organizations to tell them about the project and invite them to come do a story on it. They designed flyers and posted them around the school, informing other students of their project. They also prepared and gave a presentation about the project to a group of 6th graders at their weekly morning meeting to promote the project and show these students the types of projects they can do if they take the CAP class.
The Actions and Logistics team was in charge of all of the planning and implementation of the actual project. They coordinated with teachers and the administration to get permission to invite six 6th graders to join us in the river clean-up. They obtained another teacher to serve as a chaperone and ensured that they would have the necessary supplies, such as trash bags and gloves. This team also decided on the day, time, and place for the clean-up, as well as coordinating transportation. They also planned a post-clean-up celebration.
The Documentary team documented the whole process. They interviewed students, teachers, and other people involved in the project. This team took pictures and video from start to end to show the progress of the project, and the impact of the students’ hard work.
The CAP students worked hard for three weeks to plan the creek clean-up project, learning a lot along the way about how much work it takes to bring a project from an idea to fruition, and also how much fun it can be! They enjoyed identifying challenges and coming up with creative ways to overcome them. They also learned a lot about teamwork, especially the importance of communication between teams.
The river clean-up was held on a Tuesday morning. The CAP class gathered early and organized supplies, then met up with the six 6th grade students who were joining them. CAP students gave everyone an orientation about what was to be done and the importance of cleaning up their community. Then all 25 participants walked down to a spot on Cherry Creek called DGS Beach. It was a bit cold and the ground was somewhat covered in snow, but they went about collecting trash enthusiastically. Prepared with trash bags and gloves, some of the more adventures students were able to cross over to a small island a few feet into the creek to collect trash that had accumulated there. They had fun creating a competition on the walk back to school to see who could collect the most trash, returning with several bulging trash bags.
At school, two students prepared hot chocolate and popcorn to give to the river clean-up crew to celebrate their accomplishment. Everyone enjoyed warming up and having a hot drink. We discussed how the project went and agreed that though it was a bit cold, it felt good to help the community and do something to address an issue they saw around them. All in all, it was a great project, and very successful!
Written by: CAP Instructor, Colleen Daszkiewicz