Kids Environmental Education Program!
The Children’s Mural Program (CMP) provides instruction in visual art techniques as a basis of a curriculum to explore various environmental issues of concern to the community, especially the Superfund Cleanup and Reuse of Hunters Point Shipyard. KEEP! expands that knowledge base.
KEEP! (Kid's Environmental Education Program)
New Visions/Broadened Scope: The Bayview Opera House received a grant in January 2001, from the Urban Resources Partnership (URP) (a collaboration between the US Department of Agriculture and the US Forest Service serving major cities across the nation since 1994) to expand the Children’s Mural Program to provide a comprehensive environmental education curriculum for SF elementary school children in both the fourth and fifth grades. A second year component to the CMP, called The Bayview Opera House Environmental Education Program (BEEP!) [now called KEEP! (Kid’s Environmental Education Program)] for Community Elementary Schools, has provided workshops in the schools and fieldtrips into the community for hands-on experiences related to the environment at: 1) Hunters Point Shipyard (HPS) presented by: the US Navy, the EPA, the environmental clean-up scientists working at HPS (TetraTech), the urban planning team designing HPS (SMWM), the SF Redevelopment Agency, SF Planning Department, BAYCAT, the HPS developers (Lennar/BVHP Partners and the CAC (Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Reuse of Hunters Point Shipyard; 2) Heron’s Head Park presented by LEJ (Literacy for Environmental Justice); 3) Decorative Plant Services; 4) City Hall presented by Mayors Brown and Newsom, Supervisors Sue Beirman and Sophie Maxwell; and 5) the Bayview Opera House presented by the six Artist/Instructors there.
The CMP proposal funded by URP also established guidelines for integrating the CMP/KEEP environmental education curricula into the fourth and fifth grade elementary school teaching units. This provides a more effective, holistic learning experience for ~400 children and for easier, more integrated lesson planning for the teachers. Additionally this curricula can be used as a model for bringing this important information about the history, Super-fund Clean-up and re-use of Hunters Point Shipyard, and the need for stewardship of the environment to additional neighborhood elementary schools in the Mission, Potrero Hill, Bernal Heights and Visitation Valley. The student populations in these neighborhoods, along with Bayview Hunters Point, will be most affected by this enormous transformation of this expansive SF bayfront property over the next twenty years as the clean-up and reuse of the shipyard progresses.
Think Round, Inc. was founded to fund the expansion of both the Children’s Mural Program and KEEP! to these additional schools and to recapture our elementary school students by providing middle and high school curricula to schools in these neighborhood. KEEP! in four years has taken approximately 750 children—with KEEP! Journals and cameras in hand—on community-focused environmental education fieldtrips.