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CCA teacher finds way to promote environmental awareness in classroom

Students pledged to take one ecofriendly action to help raise money and become more environmentally conscious.

Samantha Stumpf is a CCA science teacher who used a social media movement to educate her students on environmental conservation. In the process, she was able to donate money to the Team Trees Movement, which aimed to plant 20 million trees by Jan. 1, 2020.

Samantha has been a teacher at CCA’s Seven Fields Family Service Center for nearly five years and she finds it to be very fulfilling.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with some students on a more individualized basis. I’m able to personalize a lot of things and spend one-on-one time in the virtual classroom,” Samantha said.

Teachers can get creative with lesson planning, so when Samantha found the Team Trees Movement, she knew it was the perfect time to combine social media with learning concepts.

“I saw it on social media myself and the very next day multiple students brought it up in the virtual classroom and talked about the YouTuber who started it. They started talking about it, unprompted,” Samantha said.

Planting of the trees was facilitated by the Arbor Day Foundation in conjunction with foresters, who identified areas of land in need. The cause has well-known contributors, including Elon Musk.

Samantha challenged her students to pledge one ecofriendly action and make it a habit. In exchange, she awarded students with extra credit and half of a tree or a 50-cent donation she would make out of her pocket.

“Students pledged to reuse things like bags and water bottles, conserve electricity, buy reusable products, and pick up litter in their community,” Samantha said.

In total, 22 students made pledges and Samantha donated $22. While they contributed to a great cause, there was a larger point to the exercise.

“I’m hoping my students have a greater awareness of the types of things that affect the environment around them. Resources are not unlimited,” Samantha said.

Beyond the classroom, Samantha is hopeful the movement prompts the world to be more environmentally conscious.

The Team Trees Movement surpassed its goal by planting more than 21 million trees. Anyone interested in contributing to the cause can still make a donation on the organization’s website.

Author

Commonwealth Charter Academy

Published

February 19th, 2020

Category

Learning Lab

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