My name is Laura Berenguer, and I am an EcoRise Teacher Ambassador working at a Title 1 school for students with disabilities in Miami, Florida. For the past several years, I have been using the EcoRise curricula to make environmental science accessible, engaging, and relevant for my students. EcoRise curricula, projects, and grants have transformed my students’ perspective on environmental science and climate change by allowing them to actively engage in learning and hands-on projects that improve our planet.
Teaching in an urban Title 1 center school presents unique challenges to obtaining the funding and resources necessary to facilitate hands-on learning. EcoRise provides access to free curricula and resources that are accessible and engaging for my students. The lessons have sparked a love of science and a desire to work to make our planet a better place. Additionally, the EcoRise Eco-Audit Grants have been pivotal in our school and community. Last year, my students identified that many of them live in a food desert without easy access to healthy, fresh foods. They researched which plants grow best in our environment and designed an edible garden that would provide more than 75 pounds of healthy foods to students and families every year. My students applied for an Eco-Audit Grant and were so excited when they received the grant to build their dream garden. The process of designing and building this community space helped them develop their creativity, teamwork, problem-solving, and gardening skills. They overcame challenges during the building process and celebrated victoriously when the garden came to life!
Although my students face unique learning challenges due to their disabilities, EcoRise has shown them that they can overcome these challenges and become scientists, environmentalists, investigators, and climatologists. Our pollinator garden was made possible thanks to generous donors like you! My students’ lives and perspectives have been forever transformed through EcoRise. We would love it if you helped bring experiences like ours to more classrooms by donating to EcoRise today or tomorrow in honor of Giving Tuesday—a day of global generosity. All donations help new classrooms access EcoRise programs and resources like we have, and donations are being doubled thanks to the generosity of our Leadership Circle Matching Fund!
If you’re unable to donate, you can still make an impact by inviting others to join our movement by sharing my story on social media:
Special Education Teacher
Robert Renick Educational Center, Miami, FL