For the second year in a row, students in Spanish IV Honors classes at Upper Arlington High School have implemented a service learning project aimed at promoting environmentally friendly choices among both English- and Spanish-speaking residents.
This year, the project has grown both in student involvement and in community outreach.
“This time, we implemented the project across three teachers,” said Christopher Hayes, one of the Spanish IV Honors teachers at the high school. “While it was a huge undertaking, we pulled it off in collaboration with both Columbus Metro Parks and the Ohio Hispanic Coalition.”
Building on the work of their peers last year, the students partnered again with the Metro Parks to create bilingual pamphlets for visitors based on the seven core principles of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics for enjoying parks responsibly.
New this year, the classes also worked with the Ohio Hispanic Coalition to promote environmental awareness among younger environmental stakeholders. The high-school students went to the coalition’s after-school program to share an interactive activity, in both English and Spanish, for Earth Day aimed at the importance of protecting the Earth from deforestation.
Finally, the high-school students also looked to their own peers while also helping the Ohio Hispanic Coalition. At the high school, they launched a sale of reusable sports bottles — bearing the message of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” in Spanish — with all proceeds going to the coalition.
Through this service learning project, the students had the opportunity to make meaningful and real-life connections with the vocabulary they were learning in Spanish about nature and pollution, Hayes shared. In addition, the students developed a sense of civic responsibility as they actively engaged their knowledge, leadership and interpersonal skills to undertake this local and global community need.