RCE Greater Portland-2015

1. Project Title: 
E4 TeamWorks Team
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
3. Project partner contact information : 
Hands On Greater Portland
Organizing Partner
Main Contact: 
Melia Tichenor
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

This Hands On Greater Portland Teamworks experience unites educational seminars, guided discussions, and planned service projects as it explores the foundations and actions of the four “E”s that underlie sustainability efforts across our region: environment, equity, economy, and education. In partnership with Portland Community College and the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN), our goal was to help create a healthy, just, and thriving region where everyone has opportunities to shape a more sustainable future!

GOALS • Explore local E4 sustainability challenges • Identify existing sustainability education initiatives • Empower participants to recognize the contributions they can make in their communities • Engage participants in meaningful service projects • Foster citizenship and social sustainability through community-based learning • Facilitate reflection on the quality and impact of their service.

The TeamWorks model was developed by Hands On Greater Portland in order to deepen the engagement of community member in service projects, so that participants could learn the structural and cultural foundations of why they should address social, economic, and environmental issues and how they can make a difference. RCE Greater Portland Coordinator and Sociology Professor, Kim Smith, served as the Team Leader and organized the TeamWorks’ learning objectives. Hands On Greater Portland’s TeamWorks Coordinator, Melia Tichenor, scheduled all of the service projects with established partners, based on the E4 themes. Reflection exercises, evaluation forms, and reflection papers were embedded into the service projects, following each session, in order to help participants recognize the benefits of their actions, as well as ways that the projects could be improved.

As a team, we began with an exploration of the foundations of social problems and thought traps and developed cycles of hope and "E4" solutions that focused on all four pillars of sustainability. To consider the pillars of economic health and social equity, we served a meal at Potluck in the Park and learned about Indigenous Rights and Wisdom during Earth Week with guest speaker Ilarion Merculieff. We supported access to education through a beautification project at Glenfair Elementary School and explored environmental responsibility as we assisted with reuse efforts at the ReBuilding Center. We learned about food insecurity issues in our region by helping build a Community Garden for a low-income community, through Growing Gardens. All of these efforts helped participants become familiar with the sustainable development initiatives spearheaded by the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network.

More details are available here: http://www.handsonportland.org/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Details_Page?i...

7. Provide references and reference materials : 
6. Project status
It was a great success!
Six students from Portland Community College (PCC) and six community members joined our Hands On Greater Portland TeamWorks team, this year, with projects spanning across April and May, 2015.
The team filled up quickly and received positive feedback, with the following results: 9 participants completed the TeamWorks team • Over 125 total hours of volunteer time were contributed by TeamWorks participants • 5 local sustainability organizations benefitted from service projects • Over 500 meals were served to those in need in Portland, at Potluck in the Park • 65 students and community members attended Ilarion Merculieff’s presentation and participated in group discussions about Native cultures and climate change • 9 TeamWorks participants and over 400 Comcast employees engaged in the Glenfair Elementary School Beautification Project. Over 100 trees were planted, 2 tons of mulch was spread, and at least 20 school rooms and hallways were scrubbed and painted at a local elementary school • Over 60 pieces of recycled lumber were de-nailed and made ready for resale at the Rebuilding Center.
8. Tagging