Environmental Education

Both the current and former CEO graduated from Leadership Akron. Throughout the leadership of both Executive Directors, Keep Akron Beautiful has continued to maintain a valuable partnership with Akron Public Schools. As such, working with Leadership Akron and Dr. Katrina Halasa, who is the Akron Public Schools Science Curriculum Specialist, Keep Akron Beautiful provides environmental education either directly to students or indirectly through their instructors as explained below.

Leadership Akron

Keep Akron Beautiful works with the staff of Leadership Akron and other class graduates to plan the annual Parks and Environment Class Day which is usually held in September. It is another wonderful opportunity to engage future and current leaders in our community on issues of sustainability and our community improvement that we are all facing.

This also segues into assisting with the NEXT Class Day, also in September to showcase our nonprofit agency to retired leaders in our community who are looking for ways to contribute and give back.

Keep Akron Beautiful also serves on a panel of environmental speakers, featuring hands-on exercises where possible, for the Junior Leadership Akron Class. Topics covered with the high school leaders have included energy conservation, litter prevention and climate change impacts.

The Annual APS Science, Math and Technology Expo Sponsorship

Keep Akron Beautiful sends 2-4 judges to the annual Science, Math and Technology (SMT) Expo at North High School each January with the goal of selecting student projects that closely address environmental concerns. Chosen projects win monetary prizes. The latest news release with can be found in our Press Room.

Former education:

In-Room Arbor Day Presentations

When Pam Ray, the 21-yr Education Specialist with Keep Akron Beautiful retired from the Akron Public Schools Board of Education, our contract for services was over. In 2009, the former President & CEO, Paula Davis, spent the summer attending summer enrichment workshops at Ott Staff Development Center to re-assess Keep Akron Beautiful programming. Pam Ray subsequently worked seasonally with Keep Akron Beautiful to offer in-room Arbor Day classroom presentations by request each Arbor Day from 2009 until 2016, when Pam retired from the Keep Akron Beautiful organization.

Waste in Place Training

In 2015, Keep Akron Beautiful worked with Dr. Katrinia Halasa to have 4th grade science teachers attend Waste In Place training that was provided by Keep America Beautiful and sponsored by the Sisler-McFawn Foundation and Keep Ohio Beautiful. Read more in our blog.

Summer Science Teacher Enrichment Field Trips

Between 2010-2014, and as a result of the re-assessment mentioned above, Keep Akron Beautiful, with the help of grants from the Smith Foundation, funded a bus tour and lunch for 47 teachers to visit local sites related to the 8 Smart areas addressed in the city’s sustainability plan, under Mayor Plusqueliic. The teachers, referred to Keep Akron Beautiful by Dr. Katrina Halasa, toured facilities, heard speakers and left with media for their science classrooms.

Tours included: Metro RTA, PolyFlow, Akron Grows and Habitat for Humanity community gardens, Akron Wastewater treatment facility, the biodigester at the then Akron compost facility, Cascade Locks Park trailhead, National Inventors Hall of Fame School center, River Valley Paper, GOJO, Wilbeth Wetlands restoration, Vadxx Energy, Cascade Valley (Chuckery area--home of the Signal tree).

Speakers included: City Trash Collection and Recycling Manager for City of Akron, a council representative, Director of East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp, and a representative of the Summit Soil and Water Conservation.


Be E3 Smart Energy Consumption Training   

Keep Akron Beautiful and the Ohio Energy Project hosted the 17 sixth grade Akron Public School (APS) teachers and their Intervention Specialists to a full day of Energy 101, reviewing the seven curriculum lessons they are being asked to implement in their classrooms during the spring 2010 semester.

Teachers left the workshop with radiometers, circuit balls, Kill-A-Watt meters, and dynamo flashlights to make the lessons come alive. The learning satisfied the State of Ohio’s STEP science benchmarks.