Project GREEN

Project GREEN Vision

In 2008, AKA ACD established Project GREEN (Growing Responsible Environmentalists by meeting Educational Needs), a service program to better meet the educational needs of Austin students. The inaugural school for Project GREEN was Oak Springs Elementary in East Austin. We chose a school with a student demographic primarily from economically disadvantaged households that could benefit greatly from our assistance. Oak Spring’s biggest need was to ensure that all students had their required school supplies at the start of the school year. To meet this need, we obtained the school supply list for each grade level (Pre-K through 5th grade), purchased the supplies and backpacks, and filled a customized backpack with supplies for every student in each grade level. We also purchased items to fulfill every teacher’s wish list. In 2013, we added Texas Preparatory School Austin to the program. Teachers and parents at Oak Springs and Texas Preparatory have come to expect backpacks filled with school supplies (courtesy of AKA ACD) waiting for their students when they arrive at school each Fall.

During the 10th Anniversary of Project GREEN, a storage locker for students and teachers at Oak Spring Elementary was dedicated in honor of Geraldine (Geri) Stewart, one of the original Project GREEN shoppers, who passed away in 2017. Geri’s Locker provides additional supplies for teachers and students needed throughout the year, as well as personal hygiene and clothing items.

GREEN is Growing

As the needs of the schools evolve, so will Project GREEN to meet those needs. In 2021, we expanded the program to include the purchase of teacher instructional materials to enhance the learning experience and earphones to facilitate remote learning during the pandemic. We received a grant from the Greater Austin Reading Coalition on behalf of United Way enabling us to provide additional teaching aids to improve reading and writing skills. This grant included a Leveled Literacy Intervention system and subscription for a web-based teaching tool. We have plans to extend Project GREEN to other schools.