The Newark Center for Creative Learning has adapted one of its most popular events into a twice-monthly online presentation series.
For the past decade, the school has held Greenfest every April, inviting the community to learn about the environment through fun activities. However, the 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to the pandemic.
“Greenfest is just a really fun time, and we were trying to figure out a way to transfer that into a virtual festival,” said NCCL Administrative Director Lauren Evans. “So we came up with Sustainable Saturdays and having free events so families could learn different aspects of sustaining our minds, bodies, and the environment.”
The free events are open to the public and feature local organizations, such as the Faithful Friends Animal Society last Saturday, and national organizations, like the upcoming presenter, the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center.
The series is targeted toward kids, but Evans said adults often enjoy the presentations as well. Many include a hands-on component to keep the Zoom class interesting for students by giving them a physical task to complete instead of just hearing a lecture through a screen.
For instance, Rocker Soap, a business in Bear, gave a class on sustainable soap-making and gave families a collection of soap samples. Families then had to figure out the ingredients and curing time for each bar of soap.
The supplies are provided free of charge by NCCL and its partners.
On Saturday, Faithful Friends gave a virtual tour of its Wilmington facility and taught the audience how to make Valentine’s Day treats for their pets at home or give to animals at the shelter.
“That’s what our schools are all about. It’s about going out into the real world and knowing that what you’re doing is making a difference,” said Evans. “Anytime we can go out into our community and involve our kids, we’re going to take advantage of it and give them that opportunity.”
The Sustainable Saturdays series has seen an average attendance of between 40 and 50 people in each session since Jan. 9. The series will continue until mid-June.
“We teach kids how to be advocates for themselves and other people and the world around them,” said Evans. “Giving them the tools to affect change and make a difference in other people’s lives is extremely powerful. We want to not only teach our students that, but educate our local community as well.”
Upcoming presentations include a virtual tour of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center on Feb. 27, a discussion of wildlife habitats by the Delaware Natural Society on March 13 and a discussion about sustainable fabrics by the University of Delaware’s Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies on March 27.
For more information or to register for an event, visit ncclschool.org.