The Service-Learning Council of Timber Creek High School in Orange County was selected as the winner in the Class division of the the 2013 Fifth Annual Florida Green School Awards. As the winners in the division, they received a cash prize of $500.00.
Since 2009, each year awards have been given to participants whose outstanding efforts signify success in green initiative programs and projects that preserve the environment and enhance the quality of education.
The Timber Creek High School Service-Learning Academy is comprised of eight teachers and 480 students who are integrating their service activities into their academic curriculum. The Service-Learning Council of Timber Creek High School began as a club 2003 and became a full-credit leadership class in 2004, the same year the Service-Learning Academy launched.
The primary features of the Service-Learning Council is to:
- Assist with yearly calendar and select major projects for the Service-Learning Academy
- Assist with the set-up of the advisory council and participate on the council
- Evaluate mini-grant applications, and then select and train recipients
- Assist in institutionalizing service-learning in the Orange county Public School District
- Lead service-learning presentations at school, district, state and national conferences
- Present workshops at feeder middle schools
- Oversee school's major service-learning projects
- Assist in training TCHS teachers in service-learning methods
This past year the TCHS Service-Learning Council hosted activities and games for 300 elementary, middle and high school students who ere being recognized for their schools recycling efforts at Orange County Public Schools 1st Annual Green Day Event. They prepared 24 environmental games and activities. The students offered up cycling crafts such as egg carton caterpillars, environmental bookmarks to color, and using discarded magazines to make beads for jewelry. They gave the students copies of environmental books they made and published, as well.
"The most impressive aspect of the Florida Green Schools program is that the $30 million in cost savings was generated by a handful of projects," Greg Ira, Director of the Department's Office of Environmental Education was quoted in a recent Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) press release. "The potential is so much greater than what we're seeing in 2013; we've only scratched the surface of what can be generated statewide."
The Florida Green School Network, a partnership between the DEP, Department of Health and Sustainable Florida and the Department of Education, since being established in 2011 has seen nearly 110,000 students, teachers and administrators participate in green school initiatives. The TCHS Service-Learning Council is a worthy recipient of one of the 2013 Florida Green School Awards. For more information about the awards and to see the list of winners visit the Florida Green School Network website.