Affiliate of the Month: Keep Midland Beautiful - Super Kids Can Save The World!
Introducing Educational and Outreach Coordinator, Audrey Sizemore of Keep Midland Beautiful (KMB). As the first of many in our new Affiliate of the Month highlight, Sizemore shares her experience in developing KMB's youth education. She'll also be taking over Keep Texas Beautiful's Instagram stories, giving us an inside look of their Super Kids Clubs summer program! Tag along Tuesday, June 5.
In September 2017, Keep Midland Beautiful (KMB) completed a big, bold and audacious organizational transformation, partnering with Midland County Public Libraries. Working together to bring a 2,500-square foot traveling children's museum exhibit -- "Super Kids Save the World" -- into the community. The exhibit reached more than 72,100 people, in just one summer, spreading awareness on living sustainably to create a clean and beautiful community.
I was eager to start checking off the list and gain more attraction to KMB within our school district. However, as many affiliates are aware, it can be time consuming and down-right frustrating trying to integrate into the school system. Building trust and connections with teachers is vital to your success at school visits, presentations, clubs and spreading educational material to youth.Audrey Sizemore, Educational and Outreach Coordinator of KMB
I was asked to join the KMB team as Education Coordinator upon the conclusion of the exhibit. Adding this position grew KMB from a historical staff of 2, to a staff of 3, gaining the extra hands needed to continue furthering our outreach, but more importantly, spreading awareness to youth on how to save our planet.
We knew that once the exhibit concluded we would need to continue our streak of youth programming and educational outreach in the community. Upon starting my new position, I sat down with KMB's previous executive director, Amanda Byrom, to outline a list of goals we wished to accomplish.
- Enhance ongoing development and strengthen partnerships with schools and community organizations
- Develop new partnerships and programs to secure and recruit school participation
- Help facilitate "Green Teams" within local schools
- Assist and coordinate teacher Waste-in-Place workshops
- Update existing events and programs to better educate the community on KMB's mission
I was eager to start checking off the list and gain more attraction to KMB within our school district. However, as many affiliates are aware, it can be time consuming and down-right frustrating trying to integrate into the school system. When "building relationships," I attempted to reach out too high up the food chain. I found out quickly that contacting teachers or counselors individually was more successful than shooting out emails to loads of administrators. Building trust and connections with teachers is vital to your success at school visits, presentations, clubs and spreading educational material to youth.
Our first main project was to encourage the facilitation of Green Teams within schools. KMB was awarded the H-E-B Green Bag Grant that provided several hundred recycling bins to Midland ISD schools to spur the start of recycling campaigns and awareness. Upon delivering the recycling bins, KMB also conducted presentations to the students and faculty on recycling right in Midland and how to create their own Green Team.
We were off to a great start! Continuing to piggy-back off the Super Kids Save the World and recycling bin delivery momentum, we began our first ever Cleanest Campus Competition. The event inspired youth from elementary-high school to take pride in their campus, but also in the appearance of their community. This new-to-us event was based off the competition created by Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful. We had over half Midland ISD schools participate in the competitions kick-off year, competing to be the Greenest or Cleanest Campus. KMB judges, staff, and board members were blown away by the exceptional effort put into the competition by students and faculty.
KMB is continuing to develop and work on existing events and programs to better inspire future leaders to take action, and create a clean, beautiful and waste-free community, wherever they might end up. We have been working closely with our neighbors, Keep Odessa Beautiful, to provide educators in our communities Waste in Place workshops. We are also launching our Super Kids Club this summer, devoted to educating kids ages 6-10 on environmental issues in their hometown.
I ask everyone to continue to share their ideas with other affiliates (I know that's how we've came up with our best ideas) on KTB's affiliate forum. The information every affiliate is spreading can inspire youth across our nation to take pride in their home and to be Super Kids for our planet!
Blog post written by Audrey Sizemore, Educational and Outreach Coordinator of Keep Midland Beautiful.