Local Green Joins D.C.'s Community Improvement Day

Local Green Joins D.C.'s Community Improvement Day

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Sabrina Noel
October 23, 2013

On September 28th, students from the Local Green Civic Engagement project participated in the 21st Annual Community Improvement Day led by the District of Columbia Building Industry Association. The event, which took place in D.C.'s Ward 7 neighborhood, was organized to help revitalize the Robert F. Lederer Environmental Educational Center and Youth Gardens. The surrounding area of the center represents one of the largest youth populations in the District and is vital in promoting youth education and providing a safe area for outdoor recreation. In order to achieve this, a plan for a play garden was developed for children in Ward 7 to learn, grow, eat, and play. The new play garden will promote ideas of urban farming among community members. TWC students helped in this effort by planting, painting and landscaping, in addition to other clean-up activities. This project promoted one of Local Green’s core values -- engaging students in sustainable urban development initiatives.


In addition, our students learned the importance of teamwork during the project. Abhineet Kumar from Amity University in India and a participant of the Prudential Global Citizens Program, described his experience: “There was a time in the project when everyone got tired of moving bricks from one place to another. Then it struck me to use the assembly line method to move bricks as a team and not as individuals, and we timed the whole process to increase enthusiasm. I guess that's when the feeling of working together as a community eclipsed on us. It did bind us together and showed us how much work can be done if we do it together as a community.” The sense of community expressed by Abhineet is what TWC aspires for all its students, a feeling they should experience regardless of which civic engagement project they select.


The Washington Center produces not only future leaders in their professions but also well-informed citizens who are engaged with their communities and their world. The goal of the civic engagement projects is to allow students to become well informed about an issue they care about and then work to make a positive difference in public life at the local, national or global level. Students devote a minimum of 15 hours over the course of the semester to active learning (attending meetings, lectures and hearings) and action (advocacy or volunteering). By the end of the semester, students write a three-to-four page report reflecting on the experience and articulating how the project helped them become more informed citizens. Find out more about civic engagement efforts in TWC's current and previous terms.


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