This spring, over 20 students enrolled in Cottonwood Institute’s Mini-CAP course offered at STRIVE Prep – Sunnyside as an Enrichment course for students. All but three students were in the sixth grade, and together they learned about issues affecting their community and took action to improve some of the problems they observed.
Passionate about air quality in their city, the students wanted to learn more about alternative modes of transportation. Jenna Berman, the Education Director at Bicycle Colorado, visited the class to discuss the many benefits of commuting by bicycle for personal well being, building community, and environmental health. She also helped the students brainstorm how to sustain their project into the future. Jenna was really enthusiastic about helping connect students to the biking lifestyle – she even brought the students stickers and charm necklaces! For their culminating “Action Project” as part of mini-CAP, the students organized a Bike to School Day for STRIVE Prep Sunnyside. Students presented to the whole school about the event, telling their peers about the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint by riding their bike to school. They were also able to raise support from the local King Soopers and handed out breakfast to all students and teachers that arrived on a bike. It was great to see the entryway filled with bikes! The biggest reflection from such a fun event was what students articulated as the need to do a similar event more often. Thankfully, most of the participants are returning to Sunnyside next year and are excited to keep the Bike to School days happening!
Dorian Medina writes below about his experience in the Mini-CAP:
Going to Calwood for our camping trip was a really fun experience. The first thing we did was hike up to our campsite. It was longer than we expected, and it felt about like a mile long to walk there. It was really important to stay hydrated, and we played a fun game called the Waterfall Circle to help. After all of that we unloaded the van and set up our tents. The games we played were fun. We played Camouflage, and Bear-Fish-Mosquito. Camouflage is where you hide and the predator tries to spot you, the prey. One other fun activity was our night hike to the Mica mine. It was a great time!
Then we tried to stop pollution in the air. We asked people to ride their bikes to school, or walk or take the bus if they don’t bike. If they rode their bikes they received a reward when they got to school and will pollute less and save the earth! Doing the Cottonwood course was the best experience ever! The camping trip was tons of fun and it was fun to organize the Bike to School Day!
Thanks to Cottonwood Institute for getting us outside and for helping us be advocates for our environment!
View and download pictures of STRIVE Prep’s many adventures with Cottonwood Institute at the Shutterfly Picture Share Site.
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Written by Jenny Nelson, Teacher at STRIVE Prep Sunnyside
Edited by Katie Craig