The SEED (Sustainable Energy EDucation) project takes a holistic approach in addressing ecological awareness and sustainability, including topics such as self-identity, food systems, biodiversity, and systems thinking (awareness of the whole and how the parts within interrelate). Through these lessons we attempt to intrinsically motivate not only students, but teachers as well, to make choices from a more global perspective. It is our intent to create partnerships that not only allow us to work with groups but also create projects which reflect the themes we address in the lessons. In this way, participants get to take the concepts we have been discussing and create a display for others to observe and experience. Through partnerships with schools and other non-profit and community agencies, we incorporate a strong, collaborative effort which enhances a sustainable future for our community.
The SEED Project is an experiential, hands-on learning program designed to connect children with the natural world and their place in it.
The SEED program is a series of five (1) hour sessions.The program teaches children about a healthy and sustainable life, and covers such topics as:
- The Four Pillars of Health – nutrition, exercise, water and sleep.
- Education about the nutritional value of food and how to grow your own food at home.
- The power of our daily choices to affect the world around us.
- Exercise as a fun group story telling journey with new friends.
- Delicious plant-based eating for health and sustainability.
- The role of rest and relaxation in health.
- Reading food labels and understanding ingredients
- Environmental considerations: Recycling, Cleaning up the Earth, Biodegradable plastics, and so much more.
The Project addresses nutrition and the role that food plays in our overall health and well-being; the environment and sustainability, self-reliance, exercise and the benefits of exercise for our bodies and minds; and stress management techniques and interpersonal skills, bringing awareness and tools to intentionally managing stress. The Program ties all information and tools back into our relationship with our planet and ecological awareness because we are one ~ our health and the health of the planet are not separate.
For example, in the Ecological Awareness and Sustainable Agriculture lessons, children learn about the similarities between what it takes to grow healthy plants and healthy humans alongside an exploration of different aspects of urban and backyard growing methods. Throughout the curriculum, the Program looks at the power of personal choices that both increase nutrition and save precious resources, such as water and electricity.
Experience has taught us that children and youth of all ages are hungry for this information, and intrinsically understand the vital connection between healthy bodies, healthy minds, and a healthy planet. Specific project goals are related to increased fruit and vegetable consumption, increased knowledge of the environment and how we can help it thrive, exercise, sustainable agriculture concepts, and improved ecological habits, such as recycling, composting, people powered transportation, and more.
If you are interested in presenting the SEED Project program, please register below for free access to our materials, including teacher’s notes, handouts, and feedback forms. We will be adding tutorial videos as they become available.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The SEED Project program is a series of five (1) hour sessions that builds on the concept of sustainability through awareness, personal choice and healthy habits. The lessons help students see themselves and the world around them through an inclusive lens. It is our hope that students begin to recognize the challenges facing our planet today as opportunities to create a more loving, kind planet and move through life acting on this premise.
HISTORY OF THE SEED PROJECT
Since its inception in 2013, the SEED Project, a six-week curriculum that takes a holistic approach in addressing ecological awareness and sustainability, has touched the lives of over 6,000 elementary and middle school students in Broward County Public Schools. Topics such as self-identity, food systems, biodiversity, and systems thinking (awareness of the whole and how the parts within interrelate) are explored with each student who participates in the program. Further, from 2016 to 2018, the SEED Project also provided a fee-for-service basis with the Russell Education Foundation and HANDY, Inc. a life skills program.
Through these lessons we motivate not only students to make choices from a more global perspective, but teachers as well. It is our intent to create school partnerships that not only allow us to work with individual classrooms but also create school projects that reflect the themes we address in the classroom. In this way, students create a display for others to observe and experience. Through partnerships, not only with schools, but other non-profits and community agencies, we believe we will incorporate a strong, collaborative effort that will enhance a sustainable future for our community.
MINDFULNESS & YOGA
Evidence shows how essential social and emotional learning (SEL) is for helping young people cope with their daily stress-filled lives. Mindfulness and yoga are fantastic tools for children to channel that stress. We are excited to bring these valuable tools to young people through our emerging partnership with the non-profit organization Wuf Shanti and Julie Halpern of Yoga Twist.
Wuf Shanti’s mission is to teach the next generation of young people how to have a mindful-mindset, cope with their emotions in a healthy way, think positively, appreciate what is good, and spread kindness and peace. The goal is to encourage kids to live in health and wellness, peace and positivity, and to teach them the tools to deal with stress in order to reduce violence and make this world a better place for the next generation.
Julie Halpern, Founder of Twist Yoga, has been teaching yoga to children since 2007 with many trainings and certifications in that area, including YogaKids Foundations, Radiant Child 1&2, Asana Alphabet, and Yoga Gangsters. She has her 200 hour teaching certification from I Love Yoga and teaches gentle and beginner adult classes. Through our partnership with Wuf Shanti and Julie we are able to expand the holistic approach of SEED to teaching self-care and wellness.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that our HANDY youth are better off because of Heal the Planet programming. As you expand capacity through the good work of Rachel and others, I will continue to be your champion.”
-Evan J. Goldman, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, HANDY INC.
“I applaud the “SEED Project” from Heal the Planet! Rachel Shapiro brought this program to our school, Sawgrass Elementary, last May, 2016 for six lessons about nutrition and healthy living. It made such a positive impact on both students and parents as many were unaware of the four pillars of health. After their visit, families were suddenly sharing new recipes for zucchini pasta and working on new fitness plans. Snacks in my classroom also suddenly changed from Doritos and Hershey Bars to apples, nuts and date seed energy balls! What an amazing program for everyone! I’m excited that they will be able to come back again and work with our students this month.”
-Susan Rothbard, 4th Grade Teacher, Sawgrass Elementary
“The students at Nova Eisenhower Elementary in Davie are lucky with the experience brought by, Heal the Planet, SEED Project. They wait attentively and look forward to the weekly lesson that most are not normally exposed to. This project brings students and teachers together to learn about nutrition, fitness and the importance of each. Students are taught how they can make/have an impact on our world and understand the sustainable resources available to all of us. The hands-on food preparation, lessons and fitness activities are engaging. The room is filled with energy, curiosity and the faces of bright minds ready to absorb the weekly message.”
-T. Luck, M.S., 2nd Grade Teacher, Nova Eisenhower Elementary
BECOME A SEED SPONSOR
With just a $1,500 donation to Heal the Planet you could sponsor an entire 5 week SEED Project for 25 students. Our student surveys reveal an 80% effective rate in getting the children to introduce new fruits and vegetables into their diet! Your small donation will create a huge impact in the health and well-being of our youth. Just click the Donate button below and specify ‘SEED Project’ in the note of the donation.
We have made all of the SEED Project materials available for download for FREE here on our web site. You will find handouts, the teacher’s notes, shopping/supply lists, and feedback forms. We will constantly be improving the resources available for educators. In order to receive access to the materials please sign up here. Once you confirm the subscription, the password to access the materials will be emailed to you. We welcome your feedback and suggestions!