Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Many kids in our programs are immersed in nature for the very first time. In the beginning, they express fear that animals might attack them or they might get lost in “wild” nature, but with the support of MEarth’s staff, students learn to feel safe, to explore with all of their senses, and open their minds and hearts to the natural world and to those with whom they share it. Some delight in tracking frogs at the pond or marveling at the iridescent feathers of hummingbirds, as they whiz by. Others enjoy working side by side, harvesting carrots and lettuces, preparing a healthy lunch and sharing food around the table, together. Students leave with full bellies, bright eyes and a new set of skills to change their own lives, and their world!
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Since 2008, we have empowered 12,000+ young people and countless community members with sustainable solutions for the major issues facing our planet and our communities. Our older alums say their experiences at MEarth inspired an environmental degree path or their drive to pursue a green career. Parents say their children’s experiences at MEarth inspired their family to recycle, refuse single-use plastics, grow their own food, cook and eat together, and/or volunteer in the community. In a recent evaluation study, 55.26% of past students said “Because of what I learned at MEarth: I want to become an environmental leader in my community”; 77.63% said, “Because of what I learned at MEarth: I help, or want to help, with meal preparation at home”; and 88.16% said “Participating in classes at MEarth helped me develop a greater appreciation/interest in nature and the outdoors.”
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
As the demand for MEarth’s effective and unique programming grows, we are beginning to see our organization become a go-to resource for sustainability education in our community. Scalability is a hot topic around our Boardroom table, as we look at ways to expand our reach. Our strategic plan includes focused outreach, fund development and diversification, as well as organizational capacity building. MEarth is proving itself as a beacon in the environmental education movement that has the power to inspire other schools and communities to build similar programs and join in this critical work.