Action Teams: not-so-new, definitely improved!

By Ashlee Jensen, ACE National Action Team Coordinator

Today, I want to tell you about some changes to our Student Action Program. Change can be overwhelming but ACE's improved program is something I'm pretty sure we all can believe in!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEdn7i-3w9k[/youtube]

After an awesome spring, with more than 400 action teams and 150 projects under our belts, we realized our Action Team program still needed some refining.

We found out that, no matter how much coffee we drink, we can’t do it all -- and that we were trying to do too much. So, our team hunkered down and got to work scheming about the best ways to support you this fall.

We realized that we needed to focus our programs. We all want to solarize our school but we need to implement projects that we can build from in order to make great things happen!

We also realized that money matters and the more teams we can support with small grants, the more projects will be achieved.

Finally, we realized the value of our Educators' in-person visits with Action Teams and Faculty sponsors, as we're able to provide more in-depth support.

So we took our lessons learned and created our not-so-new but definitely improved program. Drumroll please………….

We put together what we like to call our Action Team Roadmap (see above) - a clear and simple vision of the path we feel will help result in some major Action Team success!

We’ve put this roadmap together in order to help Action Teams navigate the resources, like our new Starter Grant program, and key milestones, like completing your first project, that will help you be an all star Action Team. We're also getting serious about providing more in-person training opportunities through our site visits and Student Trainings.

The roadmap led us to the second major development in our Action Team program – our Action Team Project Tracks. There are 4 tracks - Green Buildings, Stop Waste, Transportation and Raise Your Voice. We chose these tracks because a) they focus on areas that account for the vast majority of US carbon emissions and b) they’re areas that directly affect your life. Choosing one track will help your team stay focused and make a major impact in your community.

And last of all, something you might be especially interested in, we have decided to increase the number of Starter Grants we’re giving out this year – we’ll give out 175 $200 Starter Grants!

I hope these changes make you as pumped to start the school year as I am!!

Ashlee Jensen
National Student Action Program
ashlee.jensen@climateeducation.org