Update from Germany: The Round Square International Conference

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-4-07-21-pmGreetings from Louisenlund School and the 2016 Round Square International Conference. We arrived here on Monday afternoon after three train rides. The Athenian delegation is doing well, making many new friends, and enjoying their time at the conference. Here’re some of the highlights of our last few days.

On Saturday, we got a bus ride higher into the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) to Feldberg Mountain. It’s the highest mountain visible from Birklehof School. We caught a gondola to the top. On a clear day, you can see the Swiss and French alps from the top of Feldberg Mountain. Ours was a cloudy day, so no Mount Blanc, but it was still beautiful with great views—and a monument to Bismarck. screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-4-07-29-pm(The above photo is the group in front of this monument.)

We hiked down to and around gorgeous Feldsee Lake and had lunch at an inn that was just a few meters away. The lunch was another classic German meal, vesper. Vesper was traditionally a light meal, but we were served a huge spread with a dozen meats, a dozen cheeses, bread, fruit, sausage noodles and more. We were well fed for the eight-kilometer walk back to campus from there.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-4-07-34-pmBirklehof held its Halloween Dance that evening because the end of October is an exam time at the school. The drinking age for beer in Germany is 16, so the older students at Birklehof were able to buy and drink beer at the party. (No beer for the conference delegates!) This seemed especially odd because the dance was for high school and middle school students.

Sunday was the last day of the preconference. We mostly spent the day on campus doing things like archery, climbing, and playing volleyball and Black Forest hockey. It was a gray, rainy day. In the afternoon the raindrops started looking very big—and then turned into the first snow of the year. The leaves were still on the trees, flowers were still blooming, and the ground was covered with snow. The other conference delegates were from Australia and South Africa and some of them had never been in a snowstorm before.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-4-07-39-pmMonday was a travel day. We met in the darkness at 6:00 AM to walk nearly a mile to catch the train into Freiberg. We had 11 minutes in Freiburg to transfer to the train for Hamburg. After catching up on sleep on this six-hour train ride and eating some waffles from the food car, the train pulled into the Hamburg station. We weren’t standing at the train doors with our luggage. By the time some of us had gotten our big suitcases to the exit, the doors were locked and the train was rolling on down the tracks. As you might imagine, it was a bit of a shock to have half the group on the platform and half standing on the moving train. Gratefully, the next stop was just a few hundred meters away. Since we’d traveled around Hamburg on the public transit system, the Athenian students and I were able to easily navigate switching over to the adjacent subway train system and quickly rejoining the main group.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-4-07-46-pmArriving at the Round Square International Conference is usually a bit of a shock. There are dozens of groups of students from schools all over the world and it’s chaotic getting everyone registered and oriented. Louisenlund School is located right on a lake and a cold wind was blowing from the water.

In our first two days at the conference, there have been dance performances, icebreakers, small group discussions, and service projects. We’ve also had three excellent keynote speakers. Ben Saunders is a polar explorer. His most recent expedition was going on foot to the South Pole and back via Shackleton and Scott’s route. Everyone else who has tried this has failed or died. And, amazingly, he is a great speaker. We heard from Dr. Manfred Spitzer, who is an expert on brain research. This sounds kind of dull, but he had excellent slides and was really able to talk about the practical applications of recent brain research. To share just one of his points, he noted that loneliness is the deadliest disease. This evening, we heard from Souad Mekhennet, a German journalist who is Muslim and has worked for the New York Times and Washington Post. She shared some fascinating stories of her work and got some great questions in the audience on Islamophobia.

Probably the best thing that happens at the conference is the new friendships that are formed and the Athenian students are making some great connections. Tomorrow is the mid-point of the conference and so our return to California on Sunday is just days away.

Community Gratitude

Our students regularly go out into the community or engage by sending things abroad.  Occasionally, we hear back from the organizations we work with.  Here are a few messages from our community partners.

RHO Appleseed: 30 Hour Fast

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. We cannot fully express  how invaluable the support of the Athenian school community has been for RHO Appleseed and the students who attend. The food program has always been one of the most valuable things we do, but it has also been the hardest to maintain. We have been able to provide at least one meal a day to an average of 80 children per day for almost four years. This would NOT have been close to possible without the support of the students, families and staff of the Athenian school.

Joy and I were talking about how a thank you such as this is not adequate, and so we are planning a more community-based visual thank you. It is our goal to complete it during the holiday vacation. We will send it to you upon completion. (I just committed us Joy!).  Thank you so much for sticking with RHO Appleseed over the years. We are in the process of developing land for a second community center in a village about 30 km south of here. We are excited about that. Please express to your community how much your support has allowed us to continue operating and growing. We will be in touch.

 Sincerely,

Ken

White Kitty Foundation: Animal Care

I’ve wanted to contact you regarding your volunteers .

Where did you find such wonderful young people?  I constantly hear people complain about teenagers that are so privileged and spoiled.  These young men and women have been amazing.  They never complain about what we ask them to do, they’re always on time if not early and they have the most wonderful and caring personalities.  They treat our animals so well and respectful.  And they’re very respectful to us.

I wish I had more words to praise them.  Please tell their parents they are raising amazing children.  My future isn’t so bleak at all.

Thank you for everything.
Cris

Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay: Holiday Gift Drive

Greetings participants in our Holiday Giving Program 2015, with Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay!  For the 12th year in a row, families in need have again received beautiful gifts with your generosity and kindness….in all, 142 families!  Thank you, thank you!  

 JFCS East Bay provides social services to people in the community from all walks of life and religious backgrounds. Many of our client recipients this year were newly arrived refugees or immigrants from: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Africa, and Latin America. All recipients receive confidential social services from our staff professionals. You helped to make it a nice holiday season for them!  

We have been resettling refugees from many parts of the world for decades.  We know that many in the community have wanted to help and learn more about what we do.  For that reason, I am attaching our flyer, How You Can Help Newly Arriving Refugees, just in case you want to help out more.  One way to ensure assistance to refugees we serve is to donate to our Refugees Welcome Fund.  This has been set up to directly assist refugees with housing issues, training programs and other essential needs.  You can donate to that fund by clicking here:  http://jfcs-eastbay.org/refugees-welcome-fund/.
Thanks to all and best wishes for a healthy and happy new year, 

Kathryn

The Food on Your Plate: The History, Culture, and Making of Food

by Sanjev de Silva and the Food on Your Plate classes

Greetings Athenian Community, 

You may have noticed some new faces serving meals in the kitchen a few times over the past couple of weeks: the members of the Food On Your Plate seminars. One of the activities that we as a class have been assigned to partake in is to further understand the effort that goes into preparing a meal for a large group of people and in the process we have been serving our very own Athenian community. A few of the dishes that we have prepared included:  chicken gyros and falafel, cheese pizza, fried rice, enchiladas, lasagna and more. On Tuesday, April 19th, the B Period Food On Your Plate class prepared the enchiladas, and we are sharing with you all to describe what went into the preparation of the meal you received and also provide a bit of history about the dish. After learning about the enchiladas, you will hear  from the students in the other Food On Your Plate classes that cooked the pizza, fried rice and lasagna.

You may be surprised to find that there is a lot more that goes into the preparation and background of these meals than you may think! Enjoy! 

Enchiladas

enchiladasEnchiladas originated in Mexico. The practice of rolling tortillas with cheese, tomato, and other ingredients has been dated back to Mayan times. The first reference and recipe to the modern enchilada is dated back to 1885. The enchiladas prepared in the United States is different than the traditional enchiladas found in Mexico today. Although they are often eaten in California, the type we eat here at Athenian is different than the type eaten in Mexico. In Mexico, the spice is more prominent in the enchilada and is most commonly a maize tortilla stuffed with meat and covered with tomato and chili sauce. The spicy tradition of the current Mexican enchilada is related to the fact that the meaning of the word enchilada in Spanish is literally “to have seasoned with chili.” The enchiladas that you ate last week had ingredients that had to travel a total of 7,236 miles to reach you.

Ingredients Used

Cheese: (3,027 miles): Vermont

As most people know, cheese is a dairy product, meaning that it’s made from milk. What most people don’t know is that it’s one of the oldest dairy products ever made by humans with a history dating back 4000 years. It’s generally believed that cheese was first discovered by people who carried their supply of milk inside sheep stomach pouches and discovered that the bacteria inside the stomach would ferment the milk causing it to solidify into cheese. Cheeses made their way from Asia to the Roman Empire to the rest of Europe and finally to America aboard the mayflower. Cheese is still a huge part of our culture today, although as it has become increasingly processed, it has turned into a huge industry that profits over 2 billion dollars annually. In America, about a third of the milk produced is turned into cheese each day!

Tortilla: (3,946 miles): Mexico

The Spanish conquistadors named the tortilla. It was a flatbread that the Aztecs had eaten for centuries. They have been made since 10,000 BCE and are one of the main foods of the Aztecs. The Aztecs used corn to create tortillas and they cooked them on large stone slabs.  Today, tortillas are commonly used for burritos, enchiladas, and many other dishes. They have expanded out of Spanish cuisine to be used in food worldwide, including here in California.

enchiladasGreen Pepper: (44 miles): California

Columbus brought peppers from South America to Europe. They were cultivated in Europe. They come in many different colors, such as green, red, and yellow.  In the United States, California produces the most bell peppers while the largest country that produces bell peppers is China.  Today, they are used in a variety of dishes.  They are a large source of vitamin C and vitamin A, making them a staple in vegetarian diets.  Also, they have a lot of fiber and promote blood circulation.

Tomato: (219 miles): California

The tomato is native to the Americas, with origins tracing back to 700 AD (when it was first used by the Aztecs).  The first widespread cultivation of tomatoes began in modern day Peru. During the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadors brought the tomato to their colonies in the Caribbean, and then to the Philippines. From the Philippines, the tomato was spread throughout the entire continent of Asia and was soon considered an important crop. Eventually, the tomato made its way to Europe, where its shiny red exterior led to rumors of it being poisonous.  It was later adopted by the Europeans and was soon brought back to the United States when the colonies were formed. Tomatoes are now utilized in cooking in most cultures globally.

Making Enchiladas in the Athenian Kitchen

Step One: Safety: Just like any time you work with food in a professional setting, we had to follow certain health and safety standards. That meant hair tied back with a hairnet, plastic gloves, and no flip flops or sandals.

Step Two: The tortilla: every enchilada that we made had to first start as just a meager tortilla. Although we didn’t make the tortillas, we had to heat them up a bit on the stove at first so that they could easily be rolled into enchiladas.

Step Three: The filling: The filling of each enchilada is pretty basic. Just a bunch of cheese and some peppers. We had this mix in a giant bowl and we would put a little bit of it inside each tortilla. Then we would roll the enchilada up and put it in the pan. Each pan had to fit 30 enchiladas for serving purposes. Reaching this exact number was one of the most difficult parts of the job.

Step Four: Waiting: The enchiladas are prepared a day before we actually eat them so they sat overnight until they were ready for the final steps the next day.

Step Five: Sauce: A creamy tomato sauce is added to the enchiladas right before cooking them.

Step Six: Cooking: The enchiladas are cooked right before its time for lunch so that they’re still warm by the time everyone eats them.

Step Seven: Eat and Enjoy!

Lasagna 

Paula Jurado ‘16, Matt Ota ‘17, Lilly Huang ‘17, Maya Duggal ‘17, Alyssa Tlera ‘16, and Kaylie Wang ‘16 

Hope you enjoyed!

D Period Food on Your Plate Class

What are the Historic elements of the dish?

The first lasagna dish itself originated in Ancient Greece with the individual pasta sheets originally called “lagnon” around 146 BC.  From there, the “Lagnon” pasta travelled to Italy, where it began to be layered to form the traditional lasagna dish we know today. In Italy, the name Lasagne was given to the individual pasta sheets in a lasagna dish.  The traditional Italian way of making lasagna, historically, has included alternating layers of ragu sauce, parmesan cheese, eggs and lasagna pasta sheets. However, after lasagna was spread outside this region, the dish began to incorporate ricotta, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, meat, spinach, garlic, and onions. These ingredients are used in the lasagna we made today.  

What is the Regional Context?

This is the way lasagna is traditionally prepared today, as well.  Authentic recipes contain Italian sausage, ground beef, eggs, minced onion, and tomatoes.  At Athenian, however, due to the particularity of the regulations, our lasagna is generally a cheese lasagna. It contains alternating layers of tomato sauce, lasagna pasta sheets, ricotta and shredded cheese.

What is the Conduit?

Conduit: process of each ingredient & preparation

Tomato sauce: tomatoes are washed, peeled, and then condensed in the canning process

Pasta squares: A ball of dough is kneaded then passed through a pasta machine which stretches and thins the pasta into the sheets used in lasagna                             

Eggs: Taken from mother hens

Ricotta:  Leftover whey from cheese making is fermented for several days and then cooked until the residual protein solidifies into cheese

Parmesan: Part skim milk is combined with rennet to curdle and is then strained and placed into molds where it ages for, on average, 2 years.

Garlic powderPeeled garlic cloves are placed in high heat ovens to roast and then transferred to dehydrators where moisture content is reduced to 6.5%. After dehydration, the garlic is then pulverized into powder through a food processor.

Where do the ingredients come from?

Tomato sauce: Arezzio /Houston, Texas (1,766 miles)

Pasta squares: Arezzio / Houston, Texas(1,766 miles)

Parmesan: Arezzio / Houston, Texas (1,766 miles)

Mozzarella: Morgan Hill, California (61.4 miles)

Ricotta: Arezzio  / Houston, Texas (1,766 miles)

Italian seasoning: Arezzio  / Houston, Texas (1,766 miles)

Eggs: Glaum Egg Ranch / Aptos, California (85.5 miles)

Garlic: Gilroy, California (68.6 miles)

Oregano: Arezzio  / Houston, Texas (1,766 miles) 

Pizza

pizzaWe hope you find this debrief interesting and thank you all for supporting us through this process!

Redden Alexander Ludwig Thompson, Matthew Ian Chabala, Peony Bethny Ho, and Sofia Luisa Kavanaugh

To start, here is a little bit of the history of pizza. The original forms of pizza were made in mud ovens by The Greeks, Egyptians, Armenians, and Babylonians. At first, these flatbreads were only topped with olive oil and spices, now known as focaccia. Working people and their families ate it because it was quick and easy to make.

When tomatoes were brought over to Europe in the Colombian Exchange, they were originally thought to be poisonous, but they eventually became a part of the poorer people’s diets. These workers made flatbreads with whatever ingredients they had- generally, they were limited to flour, olive oil, cheese, and herbs for cooking their meals, and thus came the invention of pizza. 

Eventually, cook Raffaele Esposito decided to use tomatoes in the making of pizza because he thought it would be aesthetically pleasing to include the colors of the Italian flag- the white was the cheese, the red was the tomatoes, and the green was the basil on top.  He was called to make this for Queen Margherita, hence the name of Margherita pizza. 

Now for a little bit of Regional Context:

Athenian has made it a mission to use locally sourced, organic ingredients in order to promote sustainability and a healthy lifestyle for all who enjoy the food. Using healthy foods, Athenian Dining by Sodexo provides a solid diet that checks the main nutritional boxes. Sodexo prides itself in ensuring that all of its food processes are clean, safe, and benefit the overall satisfaction of Athenian lunch-eaters. Sodexo provides food service for many school and universities all over the nation.

The pizza’s main ingredients are whole wheat dough (for the crust), canned tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

pizza2The average miles from where the ingredients were grown to Athenian are:

1.     Whole wheat dough

  • Average distance: 880 miles
  • Supplier: Mostly from Italy

2.     Canned tomato sauce

  • Average distance: 8,344 miles
  • Supplier: Mostly from Italy

3.     Parmesan cheese

  • Average distance: 1,759 miles
  • Supplier:: Mostly from Italy

4.     Mozzarella

  • Average distance: 1,604 miles
  • Supplier: Mostly from Italy

Resource: foodmiles.com

And lastly, how we prepared the pizza at Athenian:

1.     Step 1, while wearing gloves and hairnets, we applied two circular pieces of whole wheat dough to a tray sprayed with olive oil a day before preparation and left in the refrigerator to thaw.

2.     The next day, we spread the dough evenly along the steel bake pan so that all dough reached all corners.

3.     Next, we spread tomato sauce throughout the dough, making sure that we don’t get any sauce close to the corners (this burns the sauce and makes it harder to clean later on).

4.     We sprinkled parmesan cheese on top of the sauce for flavor.

5.     Lastly, we heavily applied mozzarella cheese to the top of the pizza before placing the pizza in the oven. 

fried rice 

Women

Asian Women’s Shelter

Located in San Fransisco, CA.

The Asian Women’s Shelter mission is to eliminate domestic violence by promoting the social, economic and political self-determination of women.  Volunteers help by working directly with women and children at the shelter, helping to plan outings and activities, and providing childcare and tutoring.

Girls Inc. of Alameda County

Located in Oakland, CA.

The mission of Girls Inc. is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.  They offer a wide variety of programs for girls with many different volunteer opportunities.

International Museum of Women

Located in San Fransisco, CA.

The International Museum of Women is a world-class cultural and educational institution proposed for San Francisco. It will be the only international museum exclusively dedicated to chronicling and honoring the lives of women worldwide.

Planned Parenthood Shasta Diablo

Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood more than 80 years ago when she was working as a nurse and a midwife in New York City. She was moved by the number of young girls who already had several children. Although it was illegal at that time, Ms. Sanger began the movement to bring contraception to the United States. Planned Parenthood works to reduce unintended pregnancies with the goal that every child is a wanted child and reaches to inform and educate on sexual health.

Shepherd Gate

Located in Brentwood and Livermore, CA.

Shepherd’s Gate is a place where homeless and battered women and children are given clean clothing, a bed, hot meals, and support services. It is the first step in creating a stable lifestyle, especially for children, many of whom have been exposed to drugs, violence, and appalling living conditions

STAND! Against Domestic Violence

Located in Concord, CA.

STAND! Against Domestic Violence is the catalyst for change that helps to break generational cycles of violence that many are forced to endure, and rebuild lives.  STAND! is a non-profit committed to ending domestic violence through the provision of prevention and intervention services, primarily in Contra Costa County. You must be 16 years old or older to volunteer.

The Body Positive

Located in San Rafael, CA.

The Body Positive teaches young people to creatively transform and improve their relationships to food and body image.  Come for a day of video box stuffing. This organization is always in need of volunteers shipping their videos.

Wardrobe for Opportunity

Located in Oakland, CA.

Wardrobe for Opportunity first opened its doors in 1996 and has been serving economically disadvantaged women, seeking employment in Contra Costa and Alameda County. The organization provides vital and often overlooked services; furnishing suitable business attire for both interview processes and support for career advancements. Student volunteers are needed to help sort clothing.

Women’s Cancer Research Center 

Located in Oakland, CA.

Not long ago, agencies focused on the needs of women with cancer did not exist. While an extensive social service network for persons with AIDS developed during the 1980s, there were no parallel services for the over 50,000 women with cancer.  In 1986 all of this changed.  A small group of women with cancer created the Women’s Cancer Resource Center to provide direct services to women with cancer, as well advocate for broad changes in the health care system. The minimum age to volunteer is 16.

Housing and Shelters

Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency – BOSS

Located in Berkeley, CA.

BOSS is an organization dedicated to ending poverty and homelessness in our community. BOSS devotes it’s time to economic development, community building, supplying housing and support services to those in need. BOSS helps to provide residency, employment, training and advocacy services for homeless and indigent people in the greater East Bay.

Rebuilding Together

Located in Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Berkeley, CA.

Rebuilding Together is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income, elderly, and/or disabled people. They strive to create warm and safe living spaces, as well as to provide volunteer opportunities such as repairs and renovation of owner-occupied and non-profit facilities. The minimum age to volunteer is 14.

Shelter Inc. of Contra Costa County

Located in Concord, CA.

Shelter’s mission is to help the homeless of Contra Costa to obtain economic self-sufficiency, sustain permanent housing and regain human dignity. You can help out at their homeless shelters or by conducting food and toiletry drives, volunteering with Shelter to work on home improvement projects, or chaperone children at various children’s events Shelter creates. The minimum age to volunteer is 15.

Shepherd Gate

Located in Livermore and Brentwood, CA.

Shepherd’s gate is a place where homeless and battered women and children can come to regroup. They are given clean clothing, a bed, hot meals and support services. It is the first step in creating a stable lifestyle for their children, many of whom have been exposed to drugs, violence and appalling living conditions. Volunteer opportunities include: event planning and support, marketing, programs such as childcare and classes, and environmental work.

Food and Hunger

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Located in Alameda, CA.

Join the Alameda County Community Food Bank in breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty! They need help sorting, stocking and bagging food at the warehouse.

Dorothy Day House Catholic Worker

Located in Berkeley, CA.

The Dorothy Day House of Berkeley is a non-denominational community of volunteers who are dedicated to feeding the hungry and providing hospitality to the poor. Breakfast is served seven days a week in the Men’s Shelter at the Berkeley Veterans Building, and six days a week (excluding Sunday) at Trinity Church (2362 Bancroft Way at Dana) to those in need. Dorothy Day House also coordinates dinners for the Men’s Shelter every evening. Volunteers that help serve meals must be at least 15.

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

Located in Concord, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Vallejo and Antioch, CA.

At the Food Bank of Contra Costa’s warehouse, volunteers help sort and stock food. The Food Bank’s mission is to reduce food waste and feed those unable to provide meals themselves. The Banks also aims to raise public awareness about poverty and hunger.  This agency helps about 83,000 people per month. The minimum age to volunteer without an adult is 16.

Food Not Bombs

Located in Berkeley, CA.

Food not Bombs provides free vegetarian healthy food to anyone who is hungry and works for peace and justice. non-violence and vegetarianism.  They cook and serve meals six days a week. The minimum age to help is 15.

GLIDE

Located in San Francisco, CA.

The largest of Glide’s programs, the Free Meals Program serves three nutritious meals a day to the city’s poor and homeless every day of the year. What began in 1969 as a Monday night potluck for 50 people now requires the talents of 27 staff members who come primarily from the ranks of the poor, homeless, formerly incarcerated and those with successful recovery from substances and addictions. The minimum age to volunteer is 12.

Meals on Wheels

Located in San Francisco, CA.

Meals on Wheels’ mission is to prepare and deliver nutritious meals necessary to prevent the inappropriate or premature institutionalization of elderly homebound residents in San Fransisco. Help is needed to serve meals to seniors during weekday lunches, to make greeting cards for the homebound and to participate in individualized projects.  Summer internships for high school students are also available. The minimum age to volunteer is 14.

Open Heart Kitchen

Located in Livermore, CA.

Founded in 1995 as an interfaith effort, Open Heart Kitchen’s Mission is to provide nutritious hot meals without charge or qualification to people in need in the Tri-Valley area. The organization is currently the only free hot meal kitchen in the area. Teen volunteers prepare box lunches two Thursdays a month in Pleasanton. The minimum age to volunteer is 10.

Project Open Hand

Located in Alameda and San Francisco, CA.

Project Open Hand provides food and nourishment to improve the quality of life of men, women, and children living with symptomatic AIDS & HIV, along with the critically ill and the elderly. Minimum age to volunteer is 15.

Salvation Army

Located in Hayward, Antioch, Oakland, Alameda, and San Francisco, CA.

The Salvation Army is a Christian fellowship dedicated to helping underprivileged low-income citizens, including: those who work, have lost jobs, have mental and physical limitations, the elderly, those who are retired and the homeless. The organization is in need of help with their food pantry. The minimum age to volunteer is 15.

St. Anthony Foundation

Located in San Francisco, CA.

Founded in 1950, the St. Anthony Foundation is a nonprofit social service agency located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.  Inspired by the Franciscan tradition of joy, compassion & solidarity with those who are poor, the Foundation welcomes clients & guests, volunteers and interns, donors, and all who hunger and thirst for justice and peace to share in it’s mission, being: to feed, heal, shelter, clothe, lift the spirits of those in need and create a society in which all persons flourish. The minimum age to volunteer is 13.

Environment

Earth Island Institute

Located in Berkeley, CA.

Earth Island Institute was founded in 1982 as a nonprofit organization to develop innovative projects for the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the global environment.  Visit their web site to learn about their various projects.

Earth Team

Located in Richmond, CA.

Earth Team is a free Bay Area environmental education action and resource network for teens, teachers and youth group leaders.  They provide access to hands-on service opportunities gatherings, resources, and tools. They have monthly environmental restoration projects and a group of teen leaders.

East Bay Regional Park District

Located in Oakland, CA.

The East Bay Regional Parks district seeks to preserve wetlands and open areas for environmental preservation and low impact use. The park district operates 59 parks and more than 1,100 miles of trails in its two-county jurisdiction. East Bay Regional Park also offers frequent shoreline cleanups for small or large groups.

Forest Home Farm

Located in San Ramon, CA.

Home Farms is a 16-acre farm bequeathed to the City of San Ramon. The property has two houses, fourteen outbuildings and two pergolas.  Students can help at their Saturday work days, special events, and fall and spring cleanup days.

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Located in Marin, San Mateo, and San Francisco, CA.

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has a wide variety of opportunities working in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Examples of projects include working at a native plant nursery, doing habitat restoration at ocean side and creek sites, and working at Crissy Field.

Greenbelt Alliance

Doing service all around the Bay Area.

Their mission is to make the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area a better place to live by protecting the region’s Greenbelt and improving the livability of its cities and towns.

Mount Diablo State Park

Located in Danville, CA.

Mount Diablo State Park works to keep the mountain accessible to all people. Volunteers will do trail work and park maintenance. The minimum age is 15.

People’s Grocery

Located in Oakland, CA.

People’s Grocery is a community-based organization working to find creative solutions to the food needs of the residents of West Oakland. Their mission is to uphold the human right to healthy and affordable food and to build community self-reliance by increasing neighborhood access to locally-produced fruits and vegetables and by promoting social enterprise youth entrepreneurship, sustainable agriculture and grassroots organizing

Save the Bay

Located in Oakland and San Francisco, CA.

Save The Bay seeks to preserve, restore and protect the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta Estuary as a healthy and biologically diverse ecosystem essential to the well-being of the human and natural communities it sustains. Save the Bay has a variety of wetlands restoration projects, a native plant nursery and other projects that students can help with.

Slide Ranch

Located in Muir Beach, CA.

Every bite of food connects us with the soil, sun, water and air and to the people who work to feed us.  Slide Ranch teachers respect and responsibility for sustaining these connections.  Help is needed working as a teaching docent for family weekend programs, garden assistants  ranch hands, and administrative assistants.

Education and Youth

Bay Area Crisis Nursery

Located in Concord, CA.

The purpose of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery is to prevent abuse and neglect of young children by providing support to families who are under stress or in crisis. There is a wide variety of service work from computer entry to filing to gift wrapping! Age to volunteer is 18.

Community Reading Buddies

Located in Oakland, CA.

Each summer, over a hundred high school students volunteer to spend time reading one-on-one with preschoolers from Child Development Centers in the East Bay. The volunteers lead reading activities and games, weaving in academic content from a variety of topics, including science, music, and art. The teenage volunteers act as mentors and “buddies” for their younger charges.

Concord Child Care Center

Located in Concord, CA.

The Concord Child Care Center is a great place to work with younger children.  80% of the children at the center are native Spanish speakers, so if you speak Spanish it’s a great way to use that skill.  You will be helping out at the Concord Child Care Center. The minimum age is 14.

Danville Library 

Located in Danville, CA.

They need volunteers to support staff and assist with providing community service outreach by working with library resources and educational materials and serving as an internet docent. The minimum age is 13.  There may be opportunities at all Contra Costa Library branches.

Harbor House

Located in Oakland, CA.

Their mission is to provide opportunities for the low income people in our neighborhood, spiritually, economically, and educationally, so that, together, we can become all Christ Jesus intends us to be.  They have an ongoing need for people to serve as tutors.

Kids’ Turn

Located in San Francisco, CA.

Every year over one million children suffer the breakdown of their families when their parents separate or divorce.  Kids’ Turn helps children understand and cope with the loss, anger and fear that often accompany separation or divorce. You can help run workshops for children whose parents are separated or divorced. The minimum age is 15 and interns must have prior experience working with children (babysitting, camp work, group work or other relevant experience).

Lawrence Hall of Science 

Located in Berkeley, CA.

TEAMS interns help families and children to: Explore hands-on exhibits  hold gentle animals  enjoy Science Theatre or solve a medical mystery. TEAMS Interns also assist at summer science camps. Each year TEAMS conducts several training programs for middle and high school students.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum

Located in Walnut Creek, CA.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum connects people to wildlife to inspire responsibility and respect for the world we share.  Their main volunteer opportunities are for office work and special events. The minimum age for volunteers is 16

 

Disabilities

Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation

Located in Fresno and San Francisco, CA.

Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to burn prevention and helping children and adult survivors of severe burn injuries. The minimum age for volunteers is 14.

Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay

Located in Berkeley, Fremont, and Hayward, CA.

The Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay mission is to enhance the client’s quality of life and to ease the family’s burden of caring for the individual with dementia. The minimum age is 14.

Camp Arroyo – The Taylor Family Foundation

Located in Livermore, CA.

The mission of the Taylor Family Foundation is to make a difference in the lives of Northern California children suffering from HIV/AIDS and other life threatening diseases. Volunteers can help in their office, work on their office, or help at one of the camps that use their facility.

Camping Unlimited

Located in Boulder Creek, CA.

Camping Unlimited assists children and adults with disabilities on recreational outings and activities to promote social, functional and group skills.  To assist disabled youth at a summer camp. Supervise and care for developmentally disabled children and adults at summer camp or on weekend hikes camping trips theme weekend events and other outings.

Children’s Skin Disease Foundation

Located in Walnut Creek, CA.

The Children’s Skin Disease Foundation operates Camp Wonder. Camp Wonder is free to children with serious and fatal skin disease. For one week these children can forget their disease and have fun!  High school students can serve as volunteer counselors at Camp Wonder.

Down Syndrome Connection

Located in Danville, CA.

The Down Syndrome Connection seeks to optimize the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome by offering direct services to them and their caregivers and by educating the general public about the special concerns and unique contributions of the Down syndrome community.

Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC)

Located in San Francisco, CA.

Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC) is a non-profit organization which provides wilderness experiences for people with special needs.  ETC offers white water rafting, sea kayaking and cross-country skiing adventures.

Exceptional Needs Network

Located in Livermore, CA.

The Exceptional Needs Network (ENN) is a parent-driven non profit organization created to help families of special needs children in the Tri-Valley region of the San Francisco Bay Area. They offer local parents respite weekends by providing a camping opportunity for their special needs children. These weekends offer a fun, safe, and fully supervised camping experience for youth with special needs.

Los Cerros Special Education Program (SPED)

You will be working with a class for students with special needs at Los Cerros Middle School.  The students have autism, cerebral palsy and other neurological challenges. The Los Cerros program attempts to integrate special needs students into the regular school program to the best of the students’ abilities. The program also concentrates on life skills development such as basic social contact and community involvement and mobility. The minimum age for volunteers is 14.

Special Olympics East Bay

Located in Pleasant Hill, CA.

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Wheelchair Foundation

Located in Danville, CA.

The Wheelchair Foundation is a non-profit organization located in Danville that provides wheelchairs to people all over the world who need them but cannot afford them.  Students would work in their Danville office on projects such as organizing their photos of recipients in their wheelchairs

Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center

Located in Orinda, CA.

Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center is a non-profit organization providing a high quality program of therapeutic horseback riding and related activities to disabled children. The instructors, therapists and other volunteers continually work to improve their levels of knowledge and performance so they can provide a stimulating environment to enrich the lives of the students. The minimum age for volunteers is 14.

Arts

Berkeley Repertory Theater Teen Council

If you’re looking for a group with exciting opportunities to get onstage  behind stage or in front of the stage, join the Berkeley Rep Teen Council! They want a diverse group of theatre-enthusiasts from a wide variety of high schools to share their talents and ideas towards creating new activities to sustain your interest in the stage.  The Teen Council provides the opportunity for youth to participate in all aspects of the dramatic process; on stage, backstage and in front of the stage.

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts

Since 1968, the mission of the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA) has been 1) to ensure that opportunities for a quality education in the arts should be available to all persons and 2) to engage the arts as a vehicle for social reconciliation and social change. The minimum age for volunteers is 13.

International Museum of Women

The International Museum of Women is a world-class cultural and educational institution proposed for San Francisco. It will be the only international museum exclusively dedicated to chronicling and honoring the lives of women worldwide.

MOCHA – Museum of Children’s Art

MOCHA is committed to ensuring that the arts are a fundamental part of the lives of all children. Open Studio Art Assistants are needed on Tuesdays to Fridays 3:00 to 5:00 and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 to 4:00.   Open Studio Art Assistants prepare for art projects and interact with children and parents. The minimum age to volunteer is 14.