Education and behavior change are the cornerstones of Keep Ohio Beautiful, Keep America Beautiful, and our statewide affiliates. We strive to educate and empower generations of community and environmental stewards with curricula and real-world experiences that teach the essentials of proactive community citizenship, including the preservation of our natural resources.
Keep America Beautiful Schools
The goal is to provide schools with three easy to use educational programs that provide measurable results and are youth-driven. The development of these programs provides consistent branding across Keep America Beautiful educational programs and will provide the opportunity to have all schools measuring education impacts in the same manner. The programs are user friendly for all grade levels from Elementary-High School and address the National STEM initiative. Because these programs are designed to be youth-driven they fit well with the Keep America Beautiful initiative to engage youth through the development of Youth Advisory Councils throughout the affiliate network. But the most important part is to have educational programs that provide consistency in measuring impacts. The programs address litter, solid waste & recycling, and beautification. All programs provide levels of participation so a school can commit as much or little of their time and resources as they feel comfortable with. All programs fall under the Keep America Beautiful Schools certification.
KAB Schools Litter Free: Requires participation in the Great American Cleanup. The module measures changes in litter on school campuses after an awareness campaign, interventions, and participation in a cleanup.
KAB Schools investigating solid waste and recycling: Investigations to audit waste and find solutions to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The module measures cost savings and waste reduction after implementation of solutions identified by the audit. Participation in America Recycles Day and/or Recycle Bowl is required.
KAB Schools creating beautiful spaces: A co-branded program with Texas A&M Forest Service to design and create tree trails across America. This module documents and measures environmental and economic benefits of trees and will track volunteer hours related to planting and maintenance of the trees on each trail. Includes a litter survey to track behavior change and an optional geocaching activity to engage communities at large.
For more information, including step-by-step instructions on the three program modules, please see the Youth Initiatives Guide.
To become a Keep America Beautiful Certified School:
A school must implement all three Keep America Beautiful Schools programs and submit the simple reports, recertification is annual. Schools receive a Keep America Beautiful Youth Initiatives flag and certificate.
Waste in Place
Waste in Place is Keep America Beautiful’s educational resource developed for Prekindergarten through 12th grade students and educators that offers hands-on activities related to end littering, improve recycling and beautifying communities. The activities are interdisciplinary and STEAM correlated. The materials are used by many educators nationwide to influence positive behavior, to foster social responsibility and respect for the environment, and to enrich their students’ learning experiences.
Prekindergarten to 6th Grade Waste in Place includes a Resource Guide and Parent Guide Big Ideas for Growing Minds (available in English and Spanish) plus multi-dimensional educational tools and games. The children’s books include: Where Does Gum Go, If It’s Litter, Keeping My Town Beautiful and The Jalapeno Seed.
Middle and High School Waste in Place offers student and leader project-based learning guides to help middle and high school students plan, lead, and execute community service projects. These on-line resources include steps toward becoming a Keep America Beautiful School including: Litter Free Places, Trashless Tree Trails and Waste Audit. It also includes how to form a Youth Advisory Council.
Youth Advisory Council
Keep America Beautiful’s National Youth Advisory Council provides a unique opportunity for high school students from diverse backgrounds across the nation to participate in a service-learning and leadership development program. Keep America Beautiful selects 10 students nationwide to contribute to and inform Keep America Beautiful on programs, while acting as ambassadors and leaders for youth service in their communities.
Changing attitudes and influencing behavior are brought about most effectively using a combination of methods, including experiential learning. Keep America Beautiful has developed guidebooks — for students, educators or other project leaders — that can help lead the next generation of community stewards through the process of service- and project-based learning.
These guides for 7th-12th graders were created to promote youth-led action for change with individuals joining Keep America Beautiful and our network of community-based affiliates in national events and through the creation of service projects that reflect the needs of an individual’s community.