PEPY Learning Center students recently had a unique opportunity to explore creative expression while also combining the intra-personal and professional skills that they have worked on diligently over this past academic year. On July 15th-19th, E2 Education and Environment conducted a unique youth enrichment program called “This is Ours” which focused on several workshops that highlight the students’ own knowledge of their local environment through digital photography, story-telling, and illustration.
For this program, 29 students were tasked with creating a book together by identifying and classifying factors that shape their environment (human, nature, production, and geography). All of the activities in this workshop focus on encouraging students to use visual änd literacy skills to tell a story, work collaboratively, and cultivate environmental stewardship. Since the workshops were conducted in English the students’ individual work had to be written in English, this program demanded high levels of writing, interviewing, and editing efforts by the students. Not only did they rise to the challenge, they also learned so much along the way. Staff noted a marked improvement in students’ confidence, creativity, leadership, teamwork, initiative, and public speaking. Even students who faced obstacles with their English demonstrated determination to keep learning during the workshops.
In the words of Sam, one of the students who attended “This is Ours”, “I have learned so many new things such as how to photograph, how to write English poem, how to interview the villagers to get information and others. I have built my confidence and problem-solving through working in team, group discussion, and community interviews. ”
E2 provided the space for students to see that their voice/projects are not only important, but contribute to the efforts of a global community that are necessary for driving environmental change. Programs like these will undoubtedly translate down to the students’ own communities as their projects are viewed by more students, and, as the participants consider which environmental projects to implement locally based off of this book project.
We look forward to seeing the finalized book after the students finish collaborating, and, sharing the results with the PEPY community!
E2 Education and Environment focuses on the encouragement of sustainable education, awareness, and fostering confidence. As our students think about advancing into the professional world, exposure to organizations like E2, that are not only successful but environmentally sustainable; we hope they are inspired to employ the same strategies and techniques that will positively impact themselves, their communities, and the globe.
PEPY thanks the E2 trainers that took the time to work with our students and Ayana Journeys for also providing 3 facilitators to help with language translations and transportation. “