Hands in the Sky

Hands in the Sky

Majadahonda, SpainMadrid, Spain
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Through education, connection, and ecological action we explore complex societal frameworks, simplify the ideas and create new pathways for success.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Instituto Carlos Bousono is home to a dynamic, hard-working group of teachers and students. The education is solid, but resources are extremely limited and affecting the quality of curriculum. Learning a second language is an important skill in our growing world, but many do not make the connection between our linguistic systems, and the corresponding pathways to sustaining our global systems. Educational models implementing this link are lacking, and are forming barriers to success, communicative functionality, and empathetic understanding within the student body. As a country with one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the western world, the current educational trajectory is clearly not working. Kids need new avenues to access relevant connections and learning.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Through a specially designed (ESL based) course of study aimed at linguistic and sustainable connectedness we plan to amplify the syllabi at Instituto Carlos Bousono. We will develop and incorporate innovative curriculum that will give students diverse opportunities to enhance their language skills, expand their horizons, strengthen their relationships, explore other cultures, think critically about their systems, and communicate these thoughts - all by learning how to connect more insightfully with their surrounding frameworks and the global processes at large. By connecting students with their environment and teaching them how their everyday systems function we hope to be able to create new frameworks of thought and new pathways of compassion, empathy and wellness for themselves, and the student body as a whole. This idea is to be able to inspire forward movement with thought not previously illuminated, conversation not previously had.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The course of study will be broken into two semesters and two coinciding units. In Unit 1 we will explore the role of language, empathy, and society. We will go over underlying principles, cross-cultural examination, and make the connection to sustainability. We will define sustainability and what it means to students. We will investigate the use of resources and talk about international comparisons. We will discuss global use of renewable resources and how they affect economic empowerment, innovation, and society. We will present information and resources about the green job market. We will discuss our systems of consumption and waste - going in depth about the source of resources, water, and food. We will partner with the High School for Environmental Studies in New York City to coordinate lessons, and do a cross comparison of our statistics in relation to student demographics and eco ratings. Other Activities: Community meeting - farm to school initiative Plan the school garden School newspaper Unit 2 will introduce students to the history of permaculture, its principles, design, and international community models. Students will design and implement a school survey/audit to explore and gauge sustainable systems in school. We will bring in guest speakers to present on green building and introduce resources and info about the green job sector in Spain. We will explore ethics and connect them to design, work, and daily life. Students will design and present a permaculture system for the school. Other Activities: Community/Earth Day School Garden

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The Community of Madrid has quite a few environmental educational platforms set up. Centro de Información y Educación Ambiental del Retiro is a great one in Retiro Park. There is also Germinando Iniciativas Socioambientales, and our personal favorite - Ecologistas en Accion. Unfortunately, some of these programs like La Red de Centro Educacion Ambiental are being cut due to austerity measures. All of the aforementioned parties are located in Madrid Centro and we are not aware of any initiatives in Majadahonda, where Instituto Carlos Bousono is located. We are currently corresponding with the above parties to learn more about local movements, source resources and discuss possible collaborations. We are also looking to the US Embassy for support.
About You
Entre Los Arboles
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Entre Los Arboles

Organization Country

, MD, Madrid

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MD, Majadahonda

Your role in Education

Teacher, Other.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for less than a year

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Through education, connection, and ecological action we explore complex societal frameworks and create new pathways for success.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Our solution creates new educational models leading to enriched communication, sustainable connections, and opportunities.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

From the curriculum that we have implemented this year, we’ve seen great enthusiasm from both students and teachers. We have connected with over 15 classes to run art activities, present on global issues, create a school newspaper, run a unit on sustainability, and begin the planning of a school garden. Through this work, students seem engaged, excited about learning, and very curious about how other people around the world live and learn.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Our projected impacts are to:

- Develop and publish curriculum to increase aptitude of second language learning, activate empathy, and increase cross cultural communication regarding sustainability
- Make curriculum available to public high schools around the world
- Connect curriculum through school partnerships
- Gain statistics and results from these partnerships to track impact
- Contribute results to publications

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Our projected barriers are:

- Lack of time and resources afforded by schools
- Lack of interest from schools
- Language barrier to learning

We plan to address these barriers through concrete and clear communication and presentation of course planning and objectives.

We will motivate students and teachers alike by illustrating a positive track record and positive student progress and interest.

We understand that public high schools are often under pressure to stick to the furnished curriculum and assessment schedules and thus will work with different departments to integrate our curriculum how they see fit.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

School to School Partnership

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

School to School Skype Meeting

Task 2

Comparitive Interest Survey

Task 3

Comparitive Demographic Survey

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

School/Community Garden

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Comparitive Eco Rating Survey

Task 2

School/Community Garden Proposal Meeting

Task 3

Garden Implementation

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

When living in New York City, founder Dylana Dillon was a frequent customer at the infamous Murrays Bagels. Every time she went, she noticed bag after bag being given to customers, only to be discarded seconds after when they sat down to eat...filling the venues trash cans to the brim with barely used bags. Observing this, it seemed like anyone could recognize the absurdity, and that the solution to this was as simple as a five word question.

"Would you like a bag."

With just this one question, she thought, Murrays could save a ton of resources, money, and waste. Helping themselves, and in turn the environment.

And therein lies the framework of Entre Los Arboles.

If we bring ourselves to really understand our systems, and the intrinsic and enacted connections of our daily existence, we can make better choices and communicate these choices to make better solutions.

As simply as one hand, or even one bagel at a time.

Tell us about your partnerships

We partner with as many local grass roots organizations as possible. These partnerships help us to learn about local movements, target needs, source resources, and report back to the public on all these points.

We also have point members a the High School for Environmental Studies in NYC, The Burlington VT School District, Burlington Permaculture, the Sustainability Academy of VT, the Triskeles Foundation, and Ecologistas en Accion.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

Our current staff consists of three team members, all volunteer.

Founder, Dylana Dillon will be in charge of implementing the curriculum targeted in this competition. We will also rely on resources from some of the aforementioned community partners in accomplishing identified milestones.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We would love to collaborate with anyone interested!