RISE: Rockaway Living Classroom


 Do you appreciate your local environment? Do you want to learn about ways you can be an advocate for your community? If so, then join the Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Equity (RISE) for its latest after-school program, the exciting and free Virtual Living Classroom! This series will be running every Friday once a week from February 26 to June 25, 2021. It will consist of two different sections, one for elementary school students from 3:00 - 4:00 pm and the other for middle schoolers from 4:00 - 5:00 pm. We are covering a variety of topics starting on sustainable energy, birding basics, marine debris, the importance of pollinators, and finishing on community cooking. Living Classroom is a STEM educational science program for K-12 schools in and around the Rockaway Peninsula, where students utilize their local environment and the natural shoreline for hands-on experiential learning.

Students learned about the different forms of renewable and nonrenewable energy that society consumes every day in our first session focused on sustainable energy. In our February 26th class, after students got to know each other through some fun games, we covered topics such as the importance of conserving electricity, today's energy versus the future, how electricity is generated, and how it is distributed to homes. This month, the program is covering birding basics, where students will gain an appreciation for birds and learn how to identify the many unique species that inhabit our local environment through sight and sound. After birding, they will move onto the ocean and learn all about marine debris, what causes it, its effects on our ecosystem, and how they can help combat ocean pollution. All three of these great topics are just the beginning of this program, so stay tuned to see what our RISE educators have planned for the next series.

We hope to see you at the next installment of our Virtual Living Classroom! If you are interested in signing up or learning more about RISE's Living Classroom program, please visit our website at www.riserockaway.org/events.

By Liam Lachner, Community Outreach Coordinator and NYC Civic Corps Member