The 2001 Children's Mural Program

And Introducing
Environmental Education Program, BEEP!

Executive Summary
Prepared for the
August 14, 2001

Mission of the Organization:
The mission of the Bayview Opera House, Inc. is "to promote community arts, education and economic development, and serve as the focal point for culture and history of the Bayview Hunters Point community."

Program Summary: Bayview Opera House (BVOH) is seeking financial and in-kind support to sustain and build upon the continuing implementation of The Children’s Mural Program, an environmental education program to serve five Bayview-Hunters Point elementary schools, for 2001. The program uses instruction in visual art techniques as the basis of a curriculum to explore various environmental issues of concern to the community, especially the Superfund clean-up and reuse of Hunters Point Shipyard. With the ongoing support of Our funders, our program has been developed and expanded over the past eight years. In 2001 The Children’s Mural Program will be commencing its ninth successful year. The program was begun in 1992 in a single school, has been presented, with ongoing support of Our funders at five community elementary schools for five years. We are expanding the CMP, yet again, in 2001.

New Visions/Broadened Scope: The Bayview Opera House received a $23,000 grant in January 2001, from the Urban Resources Partnership (URP) (a collaboration between the US Department of Agriculture and the US Forest Service serving major cities across the nation since 1994) to expand the Children’s Mural Program (CMP) to provide a comprehensive environmental education curriculum for SF elementary school children in both the fourth and fifth grades. An additional component to the CMP, called The Bayview Opera House Environmental Education Program (BEEP!) for Community Elementary Schools, will now provide workshops in the schools and fieldtrips into the community for hands-on experiences presented by: the US Navy, the EPA, the environmental clean-up scientists working at HPS (TetraTech); ArcEcology (SF environmental watchdog group; the urban planning team designing HPS (SMWM); the SF Redevelopment Agency; SF Planning Department and the HPS developers (currently Lennar/BVHP Partners), and numerous community-based environmental organizations, including LEJ, SLUG, Public Health Department, etc., and the Bayview Opera House Programs artist/instructors.

The CMP proposal funded by URP will also establish guidelines to be set at the SFUSD level for integrating the CMP/BEEP environmental education curricula into the fourth and fifth grade elementary school teaching units. This will provide a more effective, holistic learning experience for ~700 children and for easier, more integrated lesson planning for the teachers. Additionally this curricula will become a model for bringing this important information about the history, Super-fund Clean-up and re-use of Hunters Point Shipyard, and the need for stewardship of the environment to additional neighborhood elementary schools in the Mission, Potrero Hill, Bernal Heights and Visitation Valley. The student populations in these neighborhoods, along with Bayview Hunters Point, will be most affected by this enormous transformation of this expansive SF Bay front property over the next twenty years as the clean-up and reuse of the shipyard progresses.

This successful expansion of the Children’s Mural Program to include BEEP, would not have been possible were it not for the generosity and consistent funding for the past many years by Hitachi America, LTD., the Hitachi Foundation, SOMART’s Mural Resource Center, The SF Redevelopment Agency and the Bayview Opera House. Because of the expanded BEEP program, we will need to augment the CMP classes to include additional weeks of instruction to our fourth grade participants, and therefore additional funding.

Project Objectives: Expanded CMP/BEEP Curriculum

Student Objectives: The CMP fourth grade curriculum is designed to: Give the children a basic understanding of the connectedness of all life that depend on healthy natural resources: air, water, soil; Empower student’s sense of stewardship of the planet; Make fun the practice of the 3 R’s (Reduce/Recycle/Reuse); Develop critical thinking about alternative energy sources and energy conservation; Make fun participating in Earth Day activities; and Empower students to sharing with and teaching their parents about these things, and many others, as well. We also bring basic understanding of the neighborhood, the history, clean-up and reuse plans for HPS. Then we provided them with unique opportunities to actively participate in the beautification of their neighborhood by sharing their artwork about the environment for display at the OH and throughout the community. This heightens their self-esteem and sense of civic involvement. The new fifth grade component will give students the hands-on and on-the-ground experiences that will expand their understanding about their community…especially Hunters Point Shipyard and the Bayview Opera House. Taken together, we will provide an understanding of their ability to affect positive changes in their own bodies, homes, schools, community and city.

Teacher Objectives: Empower teachers to develop curricula that come from them to SFUSD administration, in order to heighten learning in the classroom and streamline lesson planning. Provide unique learn experiences and teaching tools to promote academic subjects. Provide professional development in broad-scoped environmental education and community-specific environmental education organizations, activities and future plans (i.e. Bay Trail, wetland restoration and open spaces HPS.) Provide environmental education curriculum that can be used by classes on a daily basis, as an integral part of classroom activities, i.e. recycling, gardening, composting, painting as a teaching tool, etc..

Community Objectives:
Strengthen Bayview Opera House ties to the surrounding neighborhood organizations that focus on environmental education by inviting them to participate in our BEEP workshops and by taking the students in our program on their fieldtrips; Bring hundreds of community children to our facility to discover our free After-School Arts Programs in dance, drama, music, and visual art; Build bridges into Hunters Point Shipyard. (Bayview residents have long felt "left out/kept out" of HPS. Our students become ambassadors and teachers about the environmental clean-up and redevelopment process underway that will transform this 550 acre expanse of prime, SF waterfront property because they become the most informed citizens in SF about it.); Provide enormous public relations and community education opportunities for our collaborators (and funders.)
Environmental Objectives: With this program, each year, ~700 children become heart-guided stewards of the planet. They begin practicing and teaching the 3-Rs. Though our expanded curriculum, they will learn about how to, for example: treat and help a wetland, plant gardens, eat nutritious diets, exercise, create—by dancing, make music, painting, and acting. Who can estimate the benefits to the environment of such learning? We can all agree, though, that these goals—lived-out in the life of one child—are priceless to the planet.

Collaboration: For the past five years, the CMP has collaborated with: BVHP elementary schools; the US Navy, the EPA, the environmental clean-up scientists working at HPS (TetraTech); ArcEcology (SF environmental watchdog group); the urban planning team designing HPS (SMWM); Shipyard Trust for the Arts (STAR) non-profit organization representing the businesses and artists currently working at HPS where most of our artist/instructors have come from; and the SF Redevelopment Agency. We have partnered with the Bayview Anna Wadden Library, the neighborhood Post Office, the SF Main Post Office in the neighborhood, the local shopping mall, Bayview Plaza, and the Southeast Community Facility, where the southeast campus of SF City College is, to make public presentation of the children’s artwork. We have Our expanded program will also include new partnerships with: Coevoultion Butterfly Discovery Park; SF Planning Department; the HPS developers (currently Lennar/BVHP Partners), and numerous community-based environmental organizations, including LEJ, SLUG, Public Health Department, UPR, et. al. And, we will bring hundreds of children to our facility to meet and interact with our Arts Programs artist/instructors.

Local Community Commitment/Involvement:
Our fourth grade program is taught by Bayview Hunters Point community artists and professional artists from Hunters Point Shipyard, many who have been involved for over seven years and who volunteered their time and talents for four years "to grow" this program. The scores of classroom teachers working in community schools have been avid advocates and planners for the many beneficial outcomes and enhanced learning techniques that the CMP provides. The parents of our student have volunteered their time in our program. They also have expressed much gratitude for the heighten interest in academic subjects like science, reverence for the planet that their children’s essays project and the pride their children feel from the public display of their artwork. (The parents of our students in our first year programs actually petitioned the Art Commission to increase funding to continue and expand the program.) The program has expanded steadily and grown to include numerous collaborators of the highest level who make transformational decisions for everyone in San Francisco. We are happy that our proposal to bring our collaborators back in a formal, integrated program, now called BEEP, to give our students a second year of first-hand, "hands-on" workshops and fieldtrips to HPS and other sites throughout the community—including the Bayview Opera House itself—has been funded. We look forward to building strong, effective and meaningful partnerships with our new collaborators that will benefit everyone.

Innovation: No community in SF has more at stake in the successful environmental clean up and reuse of HPS than Bayview Hunters Point. Additionally, no community in SF has more at stake in the education of its children about the environmental concerns of BVHP because these concerns center on: economic development, environmental justice, public health, public safety and quality education. No other environmental education program exists that addresses these issues in a manner that makes learning about these difficult, complex concerns—FUN and Easy to Understand! The additional workshop/fieldtrip curriculum will be only add to the unique form, content, intent and vision of the Bayview Opera House Environmental Education Program—creating CMP/BEEP!

Source of Matching Funds and In-Kind Services:
The CMP has had an ongoing budget for its activities the past several years of approximately $35,000. In 2001 our projected budgets are outlined below:

CMP Budget
Bayview Opera House (Grants for the Arts) $13,000*
SF Redevelopment Agency 10,000*
Mural Resource Center 9,000*
Corporate: (Hitachi America, Ltd.) 2,500*
Foundation: (Hitachi Foundation) 2,500*
Total $37,000
BEEP Budget
Urban Resources Partnership $23,000*
Combined CMP/BEEP for 2001 $60,000

*Committed for 2001. Hitachi has provided ongoing support for the past five years. We are hopeful that you will provide continued support in 2001.

In-Kind Services in excess of the current cash budget (for in-class presentation of our curricula by teachers, donated time of collaborators, and for grant writing, fund-raising, office tasks, telephone, etc.).

Approach and Understanding: The Bayview Opera House is expanding their current environmental education program, CMP, to include three fieldtrip and seven "hands-on" workshops given by a wide array of collaborators. We will call this component of our program, BEEP, for BayviewOperaHouse Environmental Education Program. Our collaborators are ready, willing and able to provide "hand on" "on-the-ground" experiences that are fun and designed to enhance critical thinking among CMP students. The teachers want an integrated environmental education curriculum that will enhance learning and streamline lesson planning. The SFUSD is willing to assist the BVOH and its teachers to provide the highest quality lessons and hand-on experiences possible for its students and teachers. To accomplish all these objectives, everyone recognizes that this effort will take many years to fully integrate, and will require a high degree of commitment and work by everyone involved. But, as our letters of support suggest, everyone is committed, and, frankly experienced, in accomplishing the many tasks outlined in the attached Revised Work Plan. The BVOH is committed guide this expanded, integrated CMP/BEEP to its highest possible end.
We know that the support from Ongoing funders has given the CMP its stability and quality that has allowed for this year’s expansion. The program is now a two-year program that doubles the number of students served to approximately 700. We are requesting that Funders continue to provide this support so that we can sustain our successes of the past and build on these very important new ones.

All images © Heidi Hardin 2001