After-School Environmental Programs at Community Centers
Keep Alachua County Beautiful volunteers run lessons for children as part of the Southwest Advocacy Group program, a nonprofit after-school program for
underserved children in southwest Gainesville and in the Porters Community. Approximately eight youths participate each week of the nine-week long program, for a total of 72 youths participating.
Our Keep SWAG Beautiful program has two primary components. First, we teach the children about key facets of environmental science, including pollution, energy use, native ecology, natural processes, and why environmental stewardship matters for their lives and worlds. Second, the students apply this through hands-on experience, including craft making, art making, and outdoor cleanup service.
KACB is partnering with the Strong Roots Movement to address food security issues within the Gainesville community. Strong Roots Movement has already established a youth garden at the Porters Community Center. The garden is tended during the after-school program at Porters where the children learn about nutrition and the connection between food production and environmental quality. The leaders of this project, Merina Ingram, Shannon Regan, and Teagan Milford all possess agriculture-related academic backgrounds.
Our programming takes place on the first and third Thursday of each month. For
2021, the spring program runs from January 21 until May 20. Our
program follows COVID-19 safety standards and protocols, including mask use,
hand washing, and a safe distance between students and partners inside and outside
the classroom. We are an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and KAB published a
COVID-19 guidance document for our activities and those of the other 600
affiliates throughout the nation.