New Volunteers Find Their Voice by Speaking for The Environment


We all know the feeling of being in a new situation with people we don’t know; most of us would remain quiet and reserved until we became more comfortable. This is exactly what director of Environmental Education Brittany Bradley saw within the first few meetings with new volunteers. At first, she was afraid they would never open up and take the initiative to lead lessons for kids, but after some direction, she witnessed each volunteer become an enthusiastic leader. After the number of volunteers doubled in the Spring semester, Brittany had to adapt to a change in group dynamic and gave me a description of the challenges some of the new volunteers had to face. “I think there was a kind of culture shock for those coming from SoCal,” she says, “I saw how the volunteers, even those who had worked with children before, were surprised when they realized the kids around here already knew a lot about the environment”. This caused the young (Freshman and Sophomore) instructors to switch up their strategies, and Brittany thinks this improved their abilities and interest in facilitating new and exciting demonstrations, games and crafts.

Environmental Education serves children at Arcata Elementary every Friday after school and provides lesson plans that integrate progressive, nature-oriented ideas into everyday education.