SSO Program for Kids
In 2016, the City-Parish Department of Environmental Services (DES) launched a school-based outreach program focused on helping the department establish a broader reach in the education community through partnerships with elementary, middle, and high schools across Baton Rouge, and assisting Baton Rouge area K-12 schools in connecting students who may be interested in STEM career fields with resources and mentors that can help develop their skills to align with available workforce opportunities – both those available now, and those that will be available in the future in Baton Rouge and beyond.
Key program objectives include:
- Promote cooperation, shared resources and the exchange of expertise and services between DES and adopted schools
- Provide students with the opportunity to relate their studies to experience outside the school environment
- Improve student academic outcomes by providing experiential, project-based learning activities
- Create awareness and understanding of the opportunities available to work together towards a common goal
- Encourage high self-esteem in students through presentation skills
- Acknowledge and support teachers
- Strengthen DES’ involvement in and commitment to the community
One of the first projects DES took on through this program was a logo design contest for the department, whereby participating schools and students were able to submit their ideas and illustrations for potential DES logo options, with the winning design serving as the foundation and inspiration for the future brand of the department. That winning logo concept, designed by The Dunham School’s Taylor Murphy, now serves as the logo and foundational brand of DES, with her work visible to thousands throughout Baton Rouge on a daily basis.
Over the past three years, other key accomplishments associated with the DES school outreach program include:
- 80+ classroom visits to facilitate activities and educate students on DES
- 18 school tours of DES facilities
- 2016, 2017, and 2018 America Recycles Day Competitions – engaged over 3000 students across 13 schools and collected over 30,000 pounds of recyclable materials
- 2016 Earth Day Poster Competition – 53 submissions from 400+ students
- 2018 Wyland Foundation National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation – engaged over 2500 students across 11 schools and led to Baton Rouge being named most “water-wise” city in the nation for most pledges to conserve water
- Participation in the 2016 Louisiana STEM Expo and 2017 EngineerIT Competition
For more information, or if you are an educator or student interested in participating in this program, please contact Michael Lowe, DES School Outreach Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.