|A student at Washington Montessori participates in the hands-on "Decomposer Detectives" lesson.
Leadership in Environmental Action Projects (LEAP) is a student action program that reduces, reuses and recycles trash from schools and communities and informs people about local solid waste and resource issues. LEAP uses student/community partnerships and cooperative learning to achieve these goals. The St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, using landfill tipping fee surcharges, funds LEAP.
One of the most important concepts that LEAP communicates to students and teachers is the difference between linear systems, which most man-made systems are, and cyclical systems, which all of nature's systems are. Our goal is to help people begin to appreciate the integral role of energy—its use and conversion from one form to another—and start to look at products as resources rather than as trash. Through participation in field trips, activities and projects, students begin to see the inefficiency and waste of a linear system versus the benefits and practicality of cyclical systems—better for plants, people and the planet.
More information about the success that schools have had working with the LEAP program can be found in the LEAPing Into Action Case Study Book.