News / USA

California High School Has Environmental Focus

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +
Mike O'Sullivan

American charter schools are public schools that are run by private educational enterprises, under special rules, or charters,  from state or local school boards.  Many charter schools have specialized areas of study such as science, mass media, or the arts.  A charter school near Los Angeles teaches the importance of protecting the environment.

The Environmental Charter High School, in Lawndale, California, teaches all standard academic subjects.

As well as studies about the environment.  Nearly 500 students are enrolled at the high school, where they prepare for college.

They also get something extra, says school founder Alison Suffet Diaz.

“Once they are here, they are immersed in a curriculum that gets them to look at critical issues in their local communities, and be inspired that they can actually make a difference in their local community and be the change that they want to see in the world," said Alison Suffet Diaz.

The teens can get close to nature, and explore topics like alternative energy, in this case, a pump powered by human energy to water the plants.

Student Rigo Estrada says he was the kind of person who threw trash on the street before he came here.

“Someone tells me, 'Do not do that.'   I would be [saying], 'What are you talking about?  It does not matter.'  But now that I have seen firsthand videos, I have done beach cleanups, I have helped develop water-catchment systems, I have taught [students at] elementary schools the importance of water conservation.  I know the importance of green and that it actually is a really serious topic," said Rigo Estrada .
The school also teaches creative arts, integrated in one case with a lesson in physics.

The school brings in outside experts, including Nancy Gale, who owns an environmentally-friendly business that makes handbags.

“We teach the kids business, marketing, sales, design, and we want to take these students, let them see the entire process that actualizes an intangible product," said Nancy Gale. "The idea behind the program is that if these kids see what they can do together and what they can accomplish, that they recognize that their skills extend into the same real world as kids that go to successful private schools.”

Students learn how to prepare a business plan, says teacher Brandie Cobb.

“And when they leave me, the goal is for them to have a business plan in their hands that they can start and use in order to help pay for college," said Brandie Cobb.

The curriculum stresses cooperation and community action, and helps students learn to get things done, says 18-year-old Rodrigo Padilla.

“And if we all work together and if we all take initiative, and if we are able to inform people to do what they need to do, then we can really make a change," said Rodrigo Padilla.

Whether they pursue careers related to their studies here or not, the sense of empowerment these teens have learned is what the Environmental Charter High School was designed to do.   

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid