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7 days ago · by · 0 comments

Climate Action Pathways for Schools

Climate Action Pathways for Schools, or CAPS, a nonprofit that aims to help high school students become more environmentally aware while simultaneously lowering their school’s carbon footprint and earning wages. CAPS is part of a growing trend to prepare young people for green jobs of the future before they graduate high school.

Like similar programs in Missouri, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi and New York City, CAPS is using the career-technical education, or CTE, model. CAPS started in part because a local solar engineer, Bill Kelly, wanted to share his expertise with students in the school district’s career-technical education program.

Kirk Anne Taylor, who has a deep background in education and nonprofit management, joined last year as executive director with a vision to expand the model beyond just solar power. CAPS students are trained for school-year and summer internships that teach them about the environment and how to lower the carbon footprint in school buildings and the larger community.

CAPS participants give presentations, educating fellow students about climate change and green jobs. They also work with farmers to get local food in the cafeterias but their most specialized and skilled task is completing detailed energy audits of each building in the district and continuously monitoring performance. CAPS programs across the country are small but the curriculum helps students address big problems and seek out opportunities to correct them.


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