project leader
Andrew M
1219 Whitney Rd.
(Frayser )
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the project

The overarching aim of this project is to provide Whitney Elementary, a member of the Achievement School District, with an environmental coordinator to promote sustainability practices and environmental education within the school. In concrete terms, this equates to an intern who will be on site 10 hours weekly.

Working closely with the Clean Memphis education team and the school community, this intern will employ a bottom-up approach to sustainability that is designed to meet the unique challenges faced by the students, families, faculty, and staff at Whitney Elementary. The bulk of the work for this project can be broken down into two categories: implementing sustainability practices for the school community and providing standards based, common core aligned environmental education across grades and content areas. In being present at the school on a bi-weekly basis, this environmental coordinator will be able to establish and monitor student “green teams” that will gather the contents of recycling bins from classrooms and weigh and document it.

In addition, these students will work to promote conservation of energy and water through poster contests and various inter-class competitions. Audits of both energy consumption and water usage will be performed to establish a baseline and track progress. It is vital that students take ownership of recycling and conservation initiatives to form lasting changes in behaviors and mindsets, and the environmental coordinator’s ultimate aim will be to act as an additional resource to connect standards based instruction to real-world applications such as measurement of recycling gathered, amount of dollars saved, and writing and speaking persuasively.

the steps

To complete this project in a meaningful and effective manner, it will take places in four phases. The first two phases will take place during the spring and summer of 2014, and the final phase will conclude in May of 2015. Particular emphasis will be given to project design to ensure that it is promoting lasting solutions. 

The steps are as follows:  

Phase I - Meet and Strategize: During this phase, Clean Memphis staff will meet with parents, teachers, and administration to assess what sustainability practices they feel are lacking most at Whitney Elementary and why exactly these challenges exist. 

Phase II - Establish Personnel and Partnerships: Having established the need and role that an Environmental Coordinator would play, Clean Memphis will work to train a highly qualified, motivated individual to pilot the project. This phase would also include establishing local  partnerships such as Memphis Light Gas and Water and the Tennessee Department of Conservation that could assist in the more technical aspects of the project. 

Phase III - Implementation and Tracking: Taking place throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, this phase would consists of the bulk of the project. Specific deliverable include: establishment of a recycling program, quarterly standards based in-class environmental education presentations, a school-wide community clean up each semester, energy and water usage audits and artwork competitions encouraging reduced consumption. The aforementioned deliverables will all be recorded to track progress and trouble shoot any issues along the way. 

Phase IV - Reporting and Follow Up: This will largely consist of compiling data from the project to assess the success of the programming. Also, the Environmental Coordinator will be responsible for ensuring the infrastructure for recycling and conservation is firmly established and those efforts are able to continue. The service learning component and environmental education components will continue to be provided on a lasting basis through existing Clean Memphis Educational Staff. 

why we're doing it

Whitney was taken over by the state of Tennessee in an effort to raise student achievement and overall performance. The faculty and staff of Whitney are committed to bringing the students into the top quarter of schools, based on standardized test performance. In addition, the staff is invested in the community and has an overwhelming desire to make not only their school, but also their community, cleaner and greener. The purpose of this project is to provide the school with someone on site to coordinate a move towards sustainability in a concrete manner. Clean Memphis has worked closely with Whitney Elementary in the past and the interest is present, but the man power is not. This project seeks to change that. 

To Clean Memphis and the staff at Whitney, this project represents a great opportunity to create positive change. The basis of community transformation begins at the school level with students. By piloting this project, the next generation of community members can be trained to change behaviors and play a positive role in the revitalization of the North Memphis area.


Semester-long Coordinator Stipend- $2,500

SUBTOTAL = $2,500
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $75

RAISED = $1,870
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $53

Budget Update, 4/21/2014

Our original budget was for a year-long intern to research, design, and implement the sustainability measures at Whitney Elementary School. The reduced budget will cover an intern to work with the teachers and staff at the school to design a holistic sustainability plan and be a liaison between the school, the achievement school district, the Shelby County schools, and Clean Memphis. Essentially, this intern will work within the school community to design a holistic sustainability plan that meets the
unique challenges faced by Whitney. Our educational staff will then carry out and document the project. At $500 a month, this intern will earn $1,500. The remaining $282 will be used for supplies such as recycling bins and classroom manipulatives related to environmental education.


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