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Beaverton teachers prepare to begin summer programs

Middle school teacher Leslie Stolin is passionate about sustainability. She hopes to empower her students to make positive changes during her summer class.

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Summer programs have either just started or are getting ready to kick off in many school districts.

In the Beaverton School District, summer programming is set to start next week and run through the month. That means a lot of teachers are busy preparing for it. Leslie Stolin is one of them.

She is a teacher at Stoller Middle School. KGW visited her classroom where she’s preparing to teach a class on sustainability.

“I know there’s a lot of students within our school that really care about the environment and making change for the future, so I thought I would offer an opportunity over the summer to talk about sustainability, which is something that’s dear to my heart,” said Stolin.

She’s been planning a lot of hands-on activities and already has a bunch of ideas.

“We’re going to be looking at what we notice around our home that we might be able to reuse or even reduce,” Stolin said.

“We’re just going to be looking at the environment around us, all the ecosystems around our school and around our homes,” she added.

To do that, Stolin is planning to take kids outside.

“These are our garden beds and we’re hoping to use them for our hands-on sustainability learning,” said Stolin.

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In another spot nearby, she pointed out a natural area she hopes to use to supplement her students’ learning.

“Students come here to look at the environment around us,” she said.

More than 5,000 students across the Beaverton school District have signed up to participate in summer programming. A district spokesperson said there will about 15 students per classroom with lunch provided. 

Elementary kids will go four hours a day, four days a week. Older students may attend summer programs two days a week.

Enrollment was based on teacher referrals, then leftover slots were opened up to families.

Stolin hopes to empower her kids to make a difference, change the future and not be afraid to contact lawmakers to advocate for change. She said there are things we can all do that will do more than help the environment.

“It could save us money. It could save us workload when we get home in the evening. It can bring us closer as a family and as a community,” said Stolin.

She plans to work with community organizations to teach her students about sustainability.

Summer programming has been in such high demand that district officials say there is a waitlist.

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