School is a place for development, learning, challenge, creativity and discovery. At schools, youth build a deeper sense of community both on the school campus and with our neighboring world.
The Coastal Watershed Council has had the privilege to work with teachers and principals across Santa Cruz County to engage Kindergarten through 8th grade students in hands-on experiential learning about our local watersheds and what we all can do to help out, no matter our age! We’ve been busy building and improving our Watershed Rangers curriculum this summer to really focus in on the difference youth can make in protecting our community and our environment.
CWC educators help youth develop a foundational sense of place, allowing youth to genuinely connect to the natural world that surrounds them, some for the very first time. Through investigations of a school campus, scientific tests at their local creek or engineering models, students gain a deeper knowledge of scientific concepts, environmental issues and the actions we can take to solve them. This results in increased scientific literacy, problem solving skills and youth who feel empowered to take action. Through a set of four lessons, CWC educators facilitate problem-solving discussions so that youth can determine their own path to making a difference – through a service project, engineering a new solution, or sharing their knowledge with others.
It is our commitment that youth see themselves as valued members of our community and as agents of change, sources of inspiration and knowledge for us all. So the next time you see a Watershed Ranger, ask them what you can do to help!