Earth Day IS Every Day
Published: May 24, 2010 | 11:25 AMARRA
Job Corps centers across the country celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with a week of events centered around conservation and sustainability. Students cleaned up parks, conducted energy audits, and even dressed up as Earth-friendly mascots.
From late March, until April 23, students and staff at Job Corps participated in green-themed events beginning with Earth Hour on March 27, and culminating with a weeklong celebration (Monday, April 19 - Friday, April 23) that included a variety of fun and creative activities.
The week began with a Kickoff Rally, where centers participated in weeklong recycling competitions and unveiled their green mascots. Tuesday saw centers inviting local community members and organizations to a green fair, while Wednesday sent students on an energy audit scavenger hunt, seeking out ways to make the center more energy-efficient.
On Thursday, April 22, students and staff celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by planting a tree on center, or celebrating indoors with an Earth Day Every Day rally, allowing students to share their enthusiasm.
Centers planned their own activities for "Freestyle Friday" and closed a very successful and memorable week that no doubt has changed the way Job Corps students and staff think and act when it comes to the environment.
Examples and photos of how centers celebrated during Earth Day Every Day Week are below:
Jacksonville Job Corps Center held a "Lights Out" party to celebrate Earth Hour, and raise awareness about environmental issues, specifically the importance of conserving energy. Students attended a center-wide cookout, played table games, and studied while using flashlights, which they kept as party favors.
Global Days of Service
Global Days of Service, which was held April 17 and 18, was another great volunteer opportunity for students to put their green training into action. The Gary Job Corps Center showed its dedication to helping the environment by cleaning up a stream in a local park.
What's Your Green Style? – To showcase his green style, Joliet Job Corps Center student, Mitchell Lilly, wrote an inspiring essay that was chosen as the winner of the center's "What's Your Green Style?" competition. The competition was designed so students could share their feelings about Earth Day in a poem, poster, or another form of artwork. Mitchell's essay was read during the center's tree-planting ceremony on Thursday and at a Joliet City Council meeting on May 5.
Students from the Pine Ridge Job Corps Center chose to express their “Green Style” through a song they wrote in the language Karen (kuh-ren).
EDED Green Mascot – A number of centers came up with very stylish and creative green center mascots for the week.
Recycling Mania! – At the beginning of EDED week, 96 Job Corps centers were provided with special bins to collect recyclable materials throughout the week as part of a centerwide competition. The Abraham Lincoln dormitory at the Atterbury Job Corps Center won its Recycling Mania! competition, collecting more than 24 pounds of recyclables.
Go Green Fair – As part of Tuesday's activity, the Go Green Fair, the David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center hosted local companies that provide the center's green supplies to run booths at the fair for students to learn more about green employers. This was a great opportunity for students to network with local employers and talk about the green training skills they are receiving in their career areas.
Energy Audit – On Wednesday, students at the Westover Job Corps Center used a worksheet created by center staff to conduct an energy audit of their campus. The students were split into several groups, and were then given 45 minutes to survey the campus to find ways they felt they could make the center more energy-efficient. They checked things such as the lighting fixtures, and the efficiency of the plumbing. At the end of the audit, students submitted their worksheets to the center director and center green committee with recommendations of how to conserve energy on center.
Tree-Planting Ceremony – To celebrate the official date of Earth Day, each contractor-operated Job Corps center received funding to purchase a tree and tree-marker plaque to commemorate EDED Week. Centers across the country submitted photos of their tree selections and ceremony.
Path to a Greener World – To remember their green efforts during EDED Week, students were encouraged to make personalized garden stones as symbols of their Path to a Greener World. The Delaware Valley Job Corps Center students painted stones that were then placed around the new tree they helped to plant on center.
Earth Day Rally – To conclude Thursday's celebration, the Old Dominion Job Corps Center staff brought together symbols from events of previous days, including their decorated stones from the Path to a Greener World activity, the recyclables they collected throughout the week, and decorative EDED posters with conservation tips to remind students of what they had learned during the week.
Freestyle Friday – On Friday, all centers were given the opportunity to plan and execute a green activity of their choice. The Detroit Job Corps Center spent Friday helping the environment by cleaning up Orange Lawn Park, an abandoned park near the center. Students were invited by State Representative David E. Nathan to partner with Home Depot and a local middle school to help remove trash, debris, and overgrown vegetation from the site.