Sammy Lyon has been at Environmental Charter Schools since 2013, when she was brought on to implement an exciting new environmental service learning program at Environmental Charter Middle School in Gardena (ECMS-G). She works with a team of interns from Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale (ECHS) to help them become experts in several environmental projects and prepares them to mentor ECMS students in building and maintaining these projects on their own campus. Projects include a living stream/pond with solar pump, bicycle & skate shop, composting, raised bed gardening, rainwater catchment, aquaponics, a greenhouse and a playground. Students then lead community workshops to share their knowledge and passion with others.
Sammy first became passionate about environmental education and service learning when she taught her first after school garden program in Springfield, MA, after completing her B.A. in Government and Urban Politics at Smith College. In college, she worked at several organic farms and excelled in horticulture, but when she saw urban food systems growing out of small hands in parking lots and school courtyards, she knew her place was in education. She went on to earn her M.A. in Education, Leadership & Change from Antioch University, focusing her research on developing critical thinking and community engagement through service learning. To Sammy, being back in her beloved hometown of Los Angeles doing the daily work of social change through meaningful education at Environmental Charter Schools is both an honor and a privilege.
In addition to being part of the ECS community, Sammy teaches youth film programs, works with schools and educators to incorporate experiential learning, sustainability and media into the curriculum, facilitates workshops for adults and youth exploring identity, privilege and social justice, and co-hosts a weekly feminist radio program on KPFK Pacifica 90.7FM. You can also find her riding her bike around LA and making kimchi and kombucha at home.