No one would ever believe that Kelly Miller has been a teacher for the past 21 years, as her youthful demeanor and high energy belies that fact. Kelly teachers 7th grade Science and brings unbridled environmental enthusiasm to her classrooms. Kelly has been an active MEEC teacher for several years and attended the Key Issues training in 2008, was an EnviRetreat teacher in 2008, and is a past recipient of MEEC’s Mini EE grant for her classroom. Two years ago, Kelly founded her schools Ecology Club. The first year they participated in the Edison Challenge with only 18 students and 3 teams. By the following year, the program had grown to 7 teams and 50 students! Each team of 5-6 students focuses on environmental issues and teachers an elementary school class about what they have learned. In addition, each group performs some form of community service with their lessons.
This year, the Ecology Club has grown to 150 students and their primary goal has been to help Amargos Middle School and Lancaster School District “go green”. Kelly has sought partnerships from MEEC, Keystone Institute, and Generation Earth to help her programs startup. Her classrooms have also started collecting paper, bottles, and cans before school once a week. Each classroom has containers for recycling bottles and cans. Kelly also has a leadership team that teaches environmental lessons to club members on Thursday afternoons.
Kelly is an active teacher who encourages her students to participate in many events, which the year includes projects such as beach cleanups, host MEEC’s annual AV Youth Environmental Leadership Conference, and an Earth Day Dance/Carnival. In January, one of Kellly’s Edison teams presented an assembly for K-2 and 3-5 grades at John Miller Elementary School to help their school go green. The students performed skits, a recycle rap, a break dance routine, produced a video that will be viewed on YouTube, an recycle quiz game and workbooks for the different grade levels, and a binder on how to start a recycling program at their school. The end of the year culmination activity will be an overnight trip to Sea World to learn about endangered aquatic life.