Earth Tutors is absolutely the most important of EarthCo.'s initiatives. Earth Tutors began in Spring '06 as a special tutoring program about environmental issues in the Urban Science Academy (USA), a South Bronx public school. In Fall '08 the program expanded to a new school, the Future Leaders Institute (FLI), in Harlem. For USA, Earth Tutors meets every Friday at 1:30 at the gates at Amsterdam and 116th, then we take the subway to the school in the South Bronx and return to campus around 4:15 pm. For FLI, Earth Tutors meets every Friday at 2:45 at the Amsterdam and 116th gates and walks to the school. We return from FLI around 5:15.
For its first semester, Earth Tutors guest taught once a week a class for 5th and 6th graders about environmental issues. The students were specially chosen for the course, and we covered topics such as air pollution, energy use, global warming, and asthma.
The program's format has changed somewhat this year. Instead of teaching an actual class, Earth Tutors now leads an after school club on Fridays open to all students in the 5th-7th grades. We cover topics such as biodiversity, recycling, and water use, emphasizing exciting hands-on experiments. In addition we hold two to three field trips each semester, including bringing the students to Columbia to learn about college life, and going to places in the city such as the Bronx Zoo and the American Museum of Natural History.
Earth Tutors has a fourfold goal:
1. Teaching about various environmental issues, emphasizing the science behind the issues.
2. Teaching how these issues affect the students in the South Bronx and Harlem.
3. Formulating action plans for dealing with environmental issues.
4. Provide weekly contact with college students.
The most recent action plan, designed by the students, has been to educate their peers about recycling and to place posters throughout their school and homes about recycling.
Earth Tutors is currently up and running, and we always accept new volunteers ready to commit to making a difference in the science education of local youth!