Organizing Workprograms for High School Students

October 18, 2007
National Webcast
High school workprograms are a great opportunity for youth leadership through environmental education and job training. The work teaches basic tree maintenance and landscaping skills including watering, weeding, mulching, some pruning, and cleanup, using shovels, rakes, buckets, hoses, and other hand tools, or the chance to hone math, science, and computer skills working with GIS data, statistical analysis, measuring storm water runoff and contaminants, and tree planting and maintenance.

Downloadable Resources:
HS Workprograms Resource List
Amanda Benner, Executive Director, UC Green (Philadelphia, PA)
In May 2006, UC Green launched its new high school summer workforce program: UC Green Corps. The program provides sustainable seasonal maintenance to approximately 500 young trees a week. This program targets teenagers in West Philadelphia, a diverse urban neighborhood, and is developing environmental stewards of the future.
Kemba Shakur, Executive Director, Urban ReLeaf (Oakland, CA)
Urban ReLeaf provides school-year work opportunities for approximately 200 high school students a year. In particular, they work with at-risk teens from East and West Oakland. Through an innovative on-the-job training program that utilizes sophisticated equipment and computer programs to study the environmental benefits of trees, local youth learn not only important job skills as they plant and care for trees, but also math, science, and technology. Kemba founded Oakland ReLeaf, which is responsible for planting more than 8,000 trees in low-income communities through the East Bay.
Brown Bag attendees will learn:
* Program goals and structure.
* Daily logistics (including scheduling and wages).
* Succeeding with youth workers.
* Staying current with employment opportunities and workforce needs.
* Engaging community support.
About the Brown Bag Lunch Series
The Brown Bag Lunch Series is a monthly webcast held at the lunch hour and made possible through support from The Home Depot Foundation and USDA Forest Service. The overall goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The series is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups. While the webcasts are open to all, the content is most likely to be of interest to practitioners who work directly with the public, volunteers, or youth.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10-15 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of questions and answers.