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Solar Youth Programs


PROGRAMS FOR 4 TO 13 YEAR OLDS

CITYCOLOGY
AGES 4 TO 8:

Children ages 4 to 8 (5 to 8 during the summer) are taught by teenagers trained and hired as Environmental Educators – most of whom grew up as Solar Youth Stewards themselves.  After-school and all-day in the summer, youth learn concepts such as the water cycle, habitats and the anatomy of plants. They go on outdoor adventures and perform their first Community Service Action Projects (C-SAPs) and Public Education Projects (PEPs).

STEWARD TEAMS
AGES 9 TO 13:

In Steward Teams, 9-13 year olds build on what they learned and accomplished in Citycology. Stewards Team members learn more complex environmental issues and concepts, participate in their first camping trips and tackle a more sophisticated 9-step Community Service Action Project (C-SAP).  As youth get older, they are given leadership roles in Steward Teams, helping the adult and teen staff lead games, and guide fellow participants through the C-SAP process.

SERVICE/ADVENTURE CREW
AGES 9 TO 13:

Meeting twice a week in the spring, winter and fall, Youth ages 9 to 13 and volunteers work together on one day to perform a series of service projects that improve their community, such as neighborhood, park and river clean-ups, writing thank-you letters to soldiers overseas, serving food at a homeless shelter.  On the other day they participate in out-of-neighborhood adventures, such as hiking in local parks, building shelters, and Amazing Race-like scavenger hunts.  

WINTER EXPLORERS
AGES 9 TO 13:

Winter Explorers is a program in which participants learn about winter ecology, animal migration and animal tracking, as well as try many new winter activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and hiking in the snow!

YOUTH SUMMIT
AGES 4 TO 13:

Youth Summit is a three-day program during spring vacation that brings together youth to build on their knowledge, work together on a community service project, teach their community, and share what they have learned and accomplished with others.

SOLAR YOUTH SUMMER CAMP
AGES 5 TO 13:

Summer Camp is an intensive summer program that brings together youth from around the city for five weeks to learn about the city’s ecology as a whole, and develop community service and public education projects that cross neighborhood boundaries.  

HANDS-ON OUTDOOR LEARNING ADVENTURE (HOLA)
GRADES 2 THROUGH 6:
 
HOLA is an in-school program in collaboration with Barnard Environmental Studies School that supplements teachers’ in-class curriculum with hands-on, outdoor lessons. Each lesson is aligned with New Haven Public Schools Science Standards and is designed to complement and enhance the Barnard science curriculum.

LEADERS-IN-TRAINING

AGES 11 TO 14: 

Leaders in Training is a program for youth ages 11 to 14 that focuses on communication, problem-solving, and project management in a more intensive way.  Youth earn a performance stipend based on their accomplishments and go on multi-day outdoor adventures. After graduating from LIT, they are poised to become full-fledged paid interns as teenagers. 

LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEENAGERS 

green jobs internships:

Once in high school, youth can apply to become paid interns.  Youth can serve as Green Jobs Apprentices and learn concrete skills associated with carrying out community improvement projects that they design. They also build skills for general employability, critical problem-solving, communication and working in groups. 

youth educator internships:

Youth can also serve as Educators, co-leading Solar Youth’s Citycology and Steward programs with adult staff in a youth-adult partnership that challenges the interns to develop new skills and be positive role models. Youth Educators serve as teachers for younger children as they lead hands-on environmental education programs, and act as environmental stewards by helping make their city a healthier and more beautiful place. Like Green Jobs Apprentices, Youth Educators are taught skills for general employability, critical problem-solving, communication and working in groups.

BEYOND SOLAR YOUTH 

Solar Youth graduates continue to receive support after they graduate from our programs, whether they need help with a recommendation for work or general advice on careers or college. Alumni are encouraged to stay connected to Solar Youth and each other via our alumni network on Facebook. Many alumni return as part-time Environmental Educators as they continue with their education.