Youth Education & Engagement for the
Oxnard Beautification Project
The MERITO Foundation invites twenty (20) 4th-12th grade teachers and/or after-school educators from 11 designated schools* in the City of Oxnard to participate in a new 16-month project titled "Youth Education & Engagement for the Oxnard Beautification Project."
The MERITO Foundation is leading the 'Youth Education & Engagement' component of the large "Oxnard Beautification Project", an initiative of the City of Oxnard, by involving educators and their students working at the nearby community parks that the City will revitalize.
The project will provide in-school and outdoor environmental education for the participating students, opportunities for the students to restore their community park, assist in their design as outdoor classrooms, and enter a competition; "The Beautiful Oxnard Challenge", with award stipends of up to $1,000 for the winners of the best art or multimedia projects that educate and encourage others to reduce litter, prevent urban runoff and care for their parks.
Incentives for Teachers
Up to $1,300 educator stipend for full participation (note that this includes any substitute teacher costs, up to $300, as needed for field trips).
Up to $350 for students’ bus transportation to field experience locations.
Professional Development training for the participating educators.
Access to MERITO Foundation’s educational resources, such as lesson plans, science equipment, National Geographic Storytelling tools, and lectures from expert guest speakers.
Incentives for Students
Bilingual in-class or virtual environmental lectures and educational activities provided by MERITO Foundation’s staff who are marine and environmental scientists with years of experience in environmental education.
Bilingual outdoor environmental education experiences at their parks, city beaches, wetlands, or closest river including park cleanup and planting events.
Participation in the design and restoration of their park with support from MERITO Foundation staff, the City of Oxnard Public Works, a landscaping design company, and a core of volunteers led by BRITE.
Cash prizes that range from $500 - $1,000 by entering the ‘Beautiful Oxnard Challenge’ and winning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in 1) Media Campaigns (photography, infographics, video or podcast), or 2) Artwork (paintings or drawings). All with messages that persuade, educate, and inspire the community to not litter and care for their community parks.
The result of this initiative will be student involvement in their community park's restoration, beautification, and long-term conservation while learning and educating others to also care.
What is the Goal of this Project?
To involve 20 educators working at the school sites* and their 4th-12th grade students in the revitalization of 10 community parks that are heavily impacted by trash, graffiti, and lack of community care, and to convert the parks into outdoor classrooms. The students will take part in the design of the landscape, outdoor classroom infrastructure layout, and also in the creation of a media campaign to engage adults and the community at large in the long-term care of the revitalized parks.
Our education and engagement objectives for this program include the following:
Increase educator capacity to improve/promote students’ environmental education and engagement
Increase students’ environmental, climate, and ocean literacy
Increase students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of litter abatement, urban heat island effect, urban runoff, and how to mitigate these issues
Engage students to participate in the design, revitalization, and restoration of the parks, including those converted into outdoor schools
Advance equity for underserved communities through equitable, culturally sensitive, and inclusive education & outreach campaigns voiced and led by local youth
Increase overall stewardship behavior in the communities of designated schools and parks
Empower, challenge, and motivate participating students to author education and outreach campaigns that promote awareness and increase engagement among residents of neighboring communities
* Schools and their Designated Parks
Art Haycox Elementary
Cesar Chavez Elementary
(Del Sol Park)
(Community Center East Park)
Marina West Elementary
(Marina West Park)
Dr. Manuel M. Lopez Academy of Arts and Sciences
(Community Center East Park & Durley Park)
Elm Street Elementary
RJ Frank Academy of Marine Science and Engineering Elementary
(Camino del Sol Community Garden)
Rose Avenue Elementary
(Thompson Park & Kohala Park)