July 22, 2008
For immediate release
UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Research Center is presenting the seventh year of the Youth Enrichment Adventure (YEA) this July. YEA provides students in the 7th and 8th grades with an inspiring outdoor experience that improves academic achievement in math, science and language arts. The program emphasizes a collaborative, community based approach to education. Students are exposed to the resources of many community institutions while investigating the local environment. Vishna Herrity, Executive Director of the Gevirtz Research Center, says, “It is a very positive summer enrichment program where students engage in outdoor activities every day, instead of watching TV at home.”
The program prepares students to think like scientists and conduct inquiry activities while emphasizing learning about the natural environment, the ecosystem, and local watershed. YEA’s leadership program teaches students to be stewards of the environment and to develop positive attitudes about conservation and recycling. Students participate in an action project each year. This summer students are focusing on conservation and recycling, including a project involving gathering public opinion by interviewing people on State Street. Their efforts will be featured on a upcoming segment of City TV.
The students learn at community partners including the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Ty Warner Sea Center, the Watershed Resource Center, UCSB’s Marine Science Institute, the Audubon Society, Camp Whittier, and Santa Barbara Environmental Services.
In 2005 the City of Santa Barbara presented a Spirit of Service Excellence Award for Recycling Education to the Youth Enrichment Adventure. That year the 7th grade participants in the program first learned about the current trash and recycling efforts occurring in the City through visiting facilities, talking to experts, and even interviewing citizens and businesses. Using the knowledge gained from these activities, they developed a number of possible solutions for the City to increase diversion. Then they created an amazing educational video that taught about the trash and recycling in the City, showcased their information gathering techniques, and offered diversion solutions for the City. Their work was both inspiring and extremely useful for the City.
[Vishna Herrity is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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Photo Caption: YEA's youth leadership training includes work on the high ropes course at Camp Whittier.