Environmental city planner, Sharon Danks (MLA-MCP), is CEO of Green Schoolyards
America, and author of "Asphalt to Ecosystems". Her professional work and passion
focuses on transforming school grounds into vibrant public spaces that enhance ecology, engage
the community, and nurture children's wellbeing as they learn and play. Her current work focuses on
scaling up the green schoolyard movement and integrating school ground design with
health and green urban infrastructure planning. Sharon is also the founder of the Int'l School Grounds Alliance, and is honored to be an Ashoka Affiliate.
This sounds like a very interesting project. I really like that you and your colleagues are focusing on collective impact strategies and collaboration to find solutions to the complex problems facing your community. I think this strategy has a lot of potential and will be successful. I'd love to hear more about the initiatives you are planning that are specifically for young people, and how many children you are hoping to reach with these initiatives over the next 5-10 years.
I'm looking forward to talking with you later this week, and would be happy to brainstorm with you about how public land, managed by school districts, can be used to: improve children's wellbeing and build community through collective impact-based green schoolyard development; reduce children's (and family) food insecurity by planting orchards and other edible gardens on school sites; improve mental health (for students, teachers and school visitors) by providing nature-rich environments for learning, play, and community gathering; and other ideas.
Best wishes on your exciting work to improve children's well-being in THEZONE.
Hi Cynthia, I'm very excited to read about your school and would love to see it in person sometime. I have heard about the Tinkering School from my colleagues, who greatly admire Gever Tulley's work. I'm based in the East Bay and I work with two organizations that share your perspective on the value of beneficial risk for children. (e.g. using real tools to gain real skills and develop judgement based on experience) Perhaps we can connect sometime in person? I'd love to come and meet you and your colleagues.
Sure, I'd be happy to have a phone conversation with you and your colleagues. It sounds like you are working on a very interesting idea and I'd love to hear more. Let's coordinate the meeting time by email. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org This week is a good time for me.