Friday, May 29, 2009

Go Green: Carbon Footprint Sneakers

As part of Citizen Schools programming, students and volunteers explore a wide variety of careers and topics from financial literacy to solar energy to law through apprenticeships run after school. The group of students in this climate change apprenticeship have explored how their behavior impacts the world’s climate and have expressed what they’ve learned about their carbon footprints in a series of individually stylized sneakers.

Working with Ed Morris, founder of The Canary Project and Green Patriot Posters, and renowned street artist Roger Cummings of Juxtaposition Arts, students have designed sneakers that emphasize ways that people can reduce their carbon footprint. These sneakers will be featured on a billboard, along with a message reflecting the student’s awareness about their carbon footprint and a call to the rest of the community to join in the fight to reduce CO2 output.

The billboard will read “The Kids at McCormack School know their CARBON FOOTPRINT. What about YOU?” and will be produced by The Canary Project working with students from the Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard. It will serve as an example of how everyone, especially kids, can have a strong, positive voice in creating a sustainable future.

Working with the students has been extremely inspiring,” said Morris. “Through the billboard, we are not only engaging students in learning about climate change and their carbon footprint, but helping to give them a loud and powerful voice in the fight against climate change. This is about empowerment and education as much as climate change.”

The class and billboard was made possible by generous contributions from anonymous donors, Zapatos Shoe Store and the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency, a collaboration between Medical School/McLean Hospital and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

About Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to extend the learning day for low-income children. Founded in Boston in 1995, the organization mobilizes thousands of adult volunteers to help improve student achievement by teaching skill-building apprenticeships after school. Programs blend these real-world learning projects with rigorous academic and leadership development activities, preparing students in the middle grades for success in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life. Citizen Schools currently operates at 44 middle schools in seven states, serving 3,800 students and engaging 3,200 volunteers nationwide. Learn more about Citizen Schools’ programs, results, and plan to advance the after-school field at

About Canary Project and Green Patriot Posters
The Canary Project produces visual media and artworks that deepen public understanding of climate change and energize commitment to solutions. Canary Project works have shown at both art and science museums as well as on the sides of buses, in school presentations, on the Internet, in magazines, and in a City Hall.

Green Patriot Posters is a communications campaign, launched by The Canary Project and its partners, centered on posters that encourage all U.S. citizens to take part in building a sustainable economy. Organizers have commissioned posters from design leaders, and developed an on-line community for sharing and voting on original designs. The favorites will be dis­tributed through multiple channels (print, web, bus ads, licensing, etc.) to reach the widest possible audience. The project launched in Cleveland, Ohio last summer with a series of bus ads designed by world-renowned designer Michael Bierut of Pentagram. For more information, visit

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