|Contribute to "e"!
"e" inc. is dedicated to answering
the question, "How can we create conservation citizens for life?"
If you'd like to be part of this important mission, you can
donate to us by mail or online. To donate by mail, please send
One Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02139
You can also make a secure online donation through our website,
Warming Workshops Take Off!
This April, "e"
débuted its single-session Global Warming Workshop
for elementary- and middle-school children, and it has
been a smash success.
In the first month alone, we visited seven schools in
Greater Boston communities, including South Boston, Braintree,
Cambridge, and Chelsea. "e" inc.'s Executive Director,
Ricky Stern, also donated a workshop to her town of Sharon,
Mass., as part of the town's "Step It Up" Campaign in
The new workshops are designed to be fun and hands-on,
and to make the complex issue of global warming accessible
to children and youth. We begin with a slideshow that
uses concrete metaphors, such as the concept of Earth
as a "spaceship" all alone in space, to help students
understand and appreciate how important it is to take
care of the precious and limited resources of our home.
This slide from the workshop likens the earth
to a spaceship to help students understand that we
only have one chance to take care of our planet
| The hands-on section of
the workshop relies on humorous situations to keep students
engaged. The kids watch raptly as the workshop leader
takes a volunteer from the audience and, acting like an
overprotective aunt, proceeds to bring coats out of a
box and have the volunteer put them on one by one. As
the student gets hotter and hotter, to the amusement of
her peers, the audience makes the connection that global
warming is, in effect, the same thing happening to the
entire planet. Next, students enjoy building a dessert
out of layers of "fossil fuels" made from chocolates and
cake. Just as they are getting ready to eat it, we ask
them to explain what each layer is, and the excitement
in the room is palpable as they wait to dig in to their
Most exciting of all have been the actions resulting from
these initial workshops. As a follow-up to their session
with "e" inc., the Highlands School in Braintree held
a "Fossil Fuel Free Friday," during which the class we
trained addressed ways to reduce their impact on the environment
by delivering specially written speeches to other classes,
making reminder posters for the school halls, designing
light switch plates for classrooms, and other fun activities.
We're looking forward to strengthening the ranks of informed
and empowered students by bringing these workshops to
more schools around the Boston area! If you're interested
in one for your school, please call us at (617)-227-1522.
|"e" inc. Featured on WBZ News' "Project Mass"
"e" inc. is proud to have been featured on WBZ News
Channel 5 as part of that channel's "Project Mass" series
on global warming. Meteorologist Mish Michaels visited
one of our sessions on global warming, at the Jackson-Mann
Community Center in Allston/Brighton. The video segment
she produced, which highlighted our lessons and message,
aired on the 6:00 news in April.
The report captured the fun atmosphere of the "Planet
Protectors" classroom and some memorable quotes on global
warming from our students. Most importantly, it demonstrated
how our programs encourage kids to take action for the
environment. The segment shows the children going through
the school and leaving reminders wherever they find lights
on or computers running, and leaving "thank you" stars
where they see examples of electricity being conserved.
We see how involvement with "Planet Protectors" encourages
youth to enjoy science, and to involve others in energy
conservation by teaching their friends what they have
You can watch the video segment and read the full story
through the link on the "e" inc. website, www.e-action.us.
(Go to the page called "Education".)
Protectors" After-School Programs Continue to Flourish
"e" inc.'s "Planet Protectors" initiative,
a series of hands-on educational sessions designed for
urban children and youth enrolled in community after-school
programs, has now reached 500 students at 13 sites-and
counting. "Planet Protectors," which currently has curricula
on Global Warming, Ocean Biodiversity, and Rainforest
Ecology and Animals, aims to help local students understand
the immediate importance of the environment to their own
lives and their capacity to act as agents of positive
Students in "e" inc.'s Rainforest program at LynnArts
What exactly do these "Planet Protectors" do to make an
impact in their schools and communities? Some of the things
that students have done recently to address issues around
global warming and preserving ocean biodiversity include
making in-school websites, fun fictitious video newscasts,
banners and posters urging protection, and murals (please
go see the one at the Lucy Stone School in Dorchester!)
to address these important issues and share ideas for
action with the community. Recently, students in the Global
Warming course went out in their neighborhoods to tally
the people traveling in carpools, driving alone, riding
on buses, and walking, then compared and discussed the
Another recent addition to the curriculum is a series
of postcard campaigns, in which students write to local
leaders and ask them to address the specific environmental
issues that they have just learned about. We're always
adding new activities and actions to make the program
more fun and empowering for students.
We are excited to see the program growing and flourishing,
and we're working to expand the program to additional
schools in Greater Boston. If you know of a school that
may be interested in bringing an "e" inc. course to its
after-school program, please contact Dr. Ricky Stern at
Faces at "e" inc.
"e" inc. extends a warm
welcome to the members of the staff and board who have
joined us recently. New on staff is Chamberlain Segrest,
our new After-School Supervisor for the "Planet Protectors"
program. Chamberlain, who originally hails from Alabama,
comes to us with a strong background in both science and
education, two of the subjects most dear to us here at
"e". Before coming to Boston, Chamberlain was a science
teacher in New Orleans. She will be teaching and supervising
our "Planet Protectors" after-school staff.
We also welcome Marie Titus to the "e" inc. Board of Directors.
In her day job, Marie is the Manager of a Starbucks Coffee
branch in Cambridge, but she is lending her time and support
to help "e" raise funds and strategize new ideas for future
We are thrilled to have Chamberlain and Marie with us!
Returns to BELL Program for Summer Education
For the second year running, the BELL Foundation has chosen
to include our Ocean Biodiversity course, entitled "Ocean
Explorers," as an enrichment offering in its summer program!
Two "e" staff educators will work in depth with 120 Boston-area
boys over the 6-week summer program, to help them learn
about the variety of marine life and how to protect the
water sources in their own area through exciting, interactive
A new aspect of the curriculum this year is that each
class will focus on a specific at-risk marine animal,
working to find solutions to protect that animal and its
habitat. At the end of the course, students will have
a "teach-in" in which they share all the great things
they learned and accomplished during the program.
This focus on marine animals is in keeping with our interest
in engaging children in the deep need these beings have
for their help. Right whales, codfish, and all species
of sea turtles are at risk or endangered. Our children
can make a difference in their survival.
Gets New Grants
A big "thank you" to our latest partner in helping to
bring environmental awareness to local students: the City
of Boston. The city has awarded "e" inc. a grant as part
of "Boston R.O.C.K.S.!!! (Recreational Opportunities for
City Kids)," a summer program launched by Mayor Tom Menino
last month. We will be at the Ohrenberger and Mildred
Avenue Community Centers and will see almost 150 children
at these sites.
Also, hot off the presses is a new award from Draper Labs
for "Planet Protectors." Draper Labs has been a consistent
supporter of the "e" inc. mission to teach hands-on science
and we truly appreciate their commitment.
Finally, for a second time, Starbucks has given "e" one
of its "Giving Voice" grants, in continuing support of
our mission. As some of you may remember, Starbucks came
east from California to watch our work in Cambridge at
the YWCA last spring and we are glad they were favorably
creative ways to be green
There are infinite ways to be earth-conscious in our daily
lives-it just calls for a little imagination! Start today:
as you go about your routines, rethink your approach to
daily tasks. Look at every action you take as an opportunity
to be green. Ask yourself, How can I come up with new
ways to conserve? Can I find a creative way to reuse this
resource? To get you inspired, here are some ideas
for being earth-friendly in simple ways. These are all
things families can do together. If you have kids, get
them involved in coming up with new ideas!
- Replace paper napkins and paper towels with
cloth ones. Get some snappy ones to make the change
more fun! (And remember, you don't have to wash the
napkins after every meal; just give each member of
the family his or her own distinctive napkin ring.)
- Plant a small organic garden. You don't
need a huge lawn to do this-even a few square feet
can yield a delicious stir-fry or salad. Kids will
love watching the crops get bigger, and picking them
when the time comes to harvest.
- Start a compost. (There are lots of helpful
websites, such as www.compostguide.com,
that can get you started.) Collect your kitchen refuse
in a small compost pail. This will cut down on your
kitchen waste (the average household produces more
than 200 pounds every year!). Plus, if you have a
garden, your vegetables will love you for this!
- Paper or plastic? No thanks! Bring your
own bags to the supermarket.
- Rethink shopping. What do you really need
and what can you do without? Consider having a no-present
or one-present rule at birthdays. Have a show-and-tell
with kids to show off what they didn't buy.
Keep a journal of your new ideas, and share them with
others-including us! If you come up with a brilliant idea
for ways to "green" your daily life, send it to us at
We'll include some of our favorites in the next issue
of The "e" Update.
- Give your child the job of "energy police."
Have him or her monitor the use of energy (or any
other resource, such as water) around the house and
make sure everyone is up to code!
Website to Launch in September
Be sure to check our website, www.e-action.us,
for exciting changes in the coming months. In addition
to a great new design by web designer Jerry Shu, the site
will have a number of new features. Among the most exciting
of these will be a space dedicated to schools in the "Planet
Protectors" program, where participants can log in to
share ideas and accomplishments with other participating
schools. We will also have an ongoing update about our
Learning Room and its progress. By focusing on sustainability,
we hope to have schools and families come and learn about
how the earth recycles, how technologies are creating
interesting new solutions, and how action begins with
each and every visitor.