Props to this awesome New Zealand-based nonprofit Capital E for coming up with this project and hitting so many birds with one stone. Kids of all ages work together over a period of several days to build a city from scratch - using just cardboard. In addition to being a great use of recycled materials, this project gets kids excited about design, architecture, and city planning. It also acts as a platform for kids to discuss and reflect on what they think a city should be compared with the reality of cities today. Imagination applied to a long-term process of planning and execution - appears to me to be a pretty bamf assignment.
Further, this project is part of an annual festival called “Carnival of Creativeness” hosted by Capital E, an organization dedicated to children and their creativity. They describe the carnival as a ”two-week extravaganza of creating for young people”. Pretty much the sweetest idea ever and now I have one more reason to go to New Zealand besides cute accents and LOTR. Keep it up guys !!
Orchard Gardens K-8 Public School in Roxbury used to have a definite “prison feel”, according to new principal Andrew Bott. Bott, assuming the role of principal in 2010, made the decision to redirect the hundreds of thousands of dollars going towards security guards and spend it instead on art teachers. Now, 10% of the school’s budget goes towards arts and physical education. The kids that were once shuffled from class to class, forbidden from wearing backpacks due to the risk of concealed weaponry, are now chillin with Yo-Yo Ma; walking through bright halls lined with paintings from their peers; attending ballet performances; and, as put by 8th grader Keyvaughn Little, “I’ve been more open, and I’ve expressed myself more than I would have before the arts have came”.
Orchard Gardens now has one of the fastest student improvement rates state-wide. Even the principal admits that it may have been “a little crazy”, but the switch has obviously worked in the kids’ favor.
Some more wisdom from our friend Keyvaughn, whose grades have improved due to increased confidence from his new art classes: “There’s no one particular way of doing something, and art helps you like see that”.
"I’m grateful for anything that reminds me of what’s possible in this life. Books can do that. Films can do that. Music can do that. School can do that. It’s so easy to allow one day to simply follow into the next, but every once in a while we encounter something that shows us that anything is possible, that dramatic change is possible, that something new can be made."
In 2010, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, almost 11 million tons as durable goods, such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as nondurable goods, for example plates and cups.
Only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2010 was recovered for recycling.