2009 NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
PAST AWARD WINNERS
SCHOOL PROGRAM — DR. WILLIAM H. "BOB" BAILEY MIDDLE SCHOOL, GREAT UNCONFORMITY BAILEY - HICKEY COMMUNITY SPONSORSHIP
In a state not known for volunteerism, and a city with a serious desert dumping problem, Dr. William H. "Bob" Bailey Middle School sets an example for the nation to follow. Bailey Middle and Hickey Elementary schools planned to increase student achievement while developing a sense of pride in the community through sponsorship of the national geological landmark, the Great Unconformity, a location administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Initially, Bailey Principal, Dr. Karen Paquette and science teacher Shana Baker met with UNLV geologist Dr. Steve Rowland, Liliam Hickey E.S. Principal David Harcourt, Bureau of Land Management officials and Citizens for Active Management's Tom Hickey and Helen Mortenson to develop field trips that met the needs of students and developed a sense of public stewardship. Now UNLV and BLM staff accompany students to the Great Unconformity, providing expertise and experience with the site. The student volunteers remove litter and in doing so, gain an appreciation for the area’s geology, natural beauty, and the harmful effects of illegal dumping. By removing the litter, Bailey Middle School students seek to restore the ecosystem and reclaim a valuable public resource. The field trips are more than just volunteer service; they are an educational opportunity for the students and public to gain understanding of the impact of litter on the ecosystem. Science teachers developed on-site lessons so that students participate in desert ecology and geology hikes. Through these sustained efforts, the Great Unconformity site has seen a reduction in the amount of dumping. Cleanup crews were originally faced with an over-abundance of drug and alcohol related litter. It is evident that their efforts are paying off as the amount of this type of litter has markedly decreased. From May 1, 2008, to April 30, 2009, Bailey Middle School students collected 89 cubic yards of litter. Since the beginning of the program in 2005 they have picked up 986 cubic yards of litter. In 2007, students' officially adopted the site, facilitating the development of a stewardship ethic in the community. Bailey Middle School has embodied the mission of Take Pride in America by giving their community something to be proud of.
Representing the group, Principal, Karen Paquette, Liliam & Thomas Hickey, parents, teachers and other program supporters, students, Summer Acevedo, Alexis Atkins, Nicholas Atkins, Hayley Baker and Ingram Angel, joining them, Deputy Secretary of the Interior, David Hayes, and Director of Take Pride in America, Lisa Young.