Sprout Up NYU

Sprout Up is tending to “Hiking with My Father” by Ruth Irupé Sanabria.

We chose this poem, which discusses finding growth and rebirth following a natural disaster. In New York City, the changes in our natural ecology have stemmed not from a natural disaster but from human development and exploitation. The original caretakers of this land, the Lenape and other indigenous peoples, have been displaced and the land has been polluted and irreversibly altered. At Sprout Up, our mission is to reconnect the youngest inhabitants of this land to the natural resources and beauty that persists around them, despite the ecological destruction of the past.

As an environmental justice and education project, we resonate with the goal of producing public engagement with New York City’s natural environment and the issues of justice that surround it. Sprout Up NYC strives to begin to mediate environmental injustice by working in low income, underserved public schools in neighborhoods like Sunset Park and the South Bronx. These communities are on the front lines of climate change, but their public schools lack the funds necessary to engage young children in science and stewardship. Public engagement, whether through education, art, or otherwise, can empower children and adults to lead in the struggle for environmental justice.

Sprout Up NYC provides free, youth-led environmental education programs to 1st and 2nd grade classrooms in public schools throughout New York City. Our college student-instructors teach children vital concepts in environmental science and sustainability during the earliest stages of their educational development, cultivating the next generation of passionate caretakers of the earth. Through activities, experiments, and discussions, we get kids thinking in new ways about the world that surrounds them, inspiring them to bring the message of environmental stewardship home to their families and friends. In this way, we strive to promote sustainability throughout our many communities, from the youngest members of society up.

 For more information, please visit us at www.SproutUpNYC.org.