April Yorks

Bio: April Yorks is the Social Studies, Math & Academically Talented Coordinator at Kearsley-Armstrong Middle School in Flint, Michigan and co-teaches the Kearsley Academically Talented Students program. She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Leadership from Oakland University.

Yorks, a strong believer in youth leading local change, integrates youth voice into her students’ learning. Her students study water quality of local waterways and determine ways to improve it locally, increase community awareness, and increase student involvement and education. With Yorks’ expert guidance, students investigate areas of concern and methods for improvement - taking charge of the project that they have selected.

Yorks’ students stenciled 73 of 104 storm drains in their community and handed out door hangers to educate residents about the link between storm drains and local waterways and suggesting ways to make environmentally friendly choices. They have also created a rain garden and an outdoor classroom, and initiated river clean-up activities to address water quality issues discovered through monitoring.  April and her students were 2011 state bowl winners of the Michigan chapter of Future Problem Solving Program International.

Hear April in her own words!

What is one thing you wish you knew when you first started teaching this way?



April's Recommended Resources:
PDF: Chipmunk Creek Water Testing Project Summary
A project summary of the water quality tests in Chipmunk Creek, a creek running behind Armstrong Middle School.
PDF: W.A.T.E.R. Case Study
Youth in the Kearsley Academically Talented Students (K.A.T.S.) program performed nine water quality tests in Chipmunk Creek, a creek running behind their school, Armstrong Middle School
Visit the Earth Force resource library to find even more environmental learning resources.