Pursuing a Passion
Amelie Gomez was inspired by her kindergarten class' study of Martin Luther King, Jr. When Amelie expressed a desire to advocate for trash clean-up in our rivers and ditches to protect the animals in her neighborhood, teacher Sandra Thompson (Ms. Sandy) encouraged her to write to Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel’s office to find out how she could help with their Project Front Yard campaign. Their efforts resulted in a 20-minute video highlighting Amelie’s journey through the Vermilion River watershed as she met with and learned from the people responsible for keeping our waterways healthy. The video will be used as an educational tool for Amelie’s peers, and the 5-minute version is now on display at the Lafayette Science Museum for the community to watch.
Amelie’s project is just one example of how ESA encourages students to learn through their interests and passions. For some students, that means creating a poster to describe weather patterns or writing and performing a puppet show for peers. Others explore interests through enrichment clusters, six-week mini courses that give students the opportunity to step into the shoes of a professional working in a field such as geology, journalism or baking. Every once in a while, a motivated student like Amelie will pursue an interest beyond the classroom and the campus, and an ESA teacher like Ms. Sandy will be ready to help.
At the Project Front Yard awards, Sandra Thompson received the award for Best Overall Project Front Yard Effort, an award given to a community partner who goes above and beyond. During the ceremony, Mr. Durel described Amelie's video as the best project that has come out in the history of Project Front Yard. Ms. Sandy is working to develop a curriculum to go along with the video for local educators’ use in the classroom in teaching children about the watershed and life cycles of litter in our rivers.