2019-20 Wave of Action Program Application

Did you know that NYC has over 575 miles of coastline which is home to rich flora and fauna? Or that the Big Apple’s water supply comes from upstate New York watersheds, a system which moves over a billion gallons a day? Join the Genovesi Environmental Study Center (GESC), along with NYC/NYS water conservation groups, and apply to be part of the Wave of Action program to investigate our water consumption and the conservation efforts underway. Wave of Action introduces grades 3-5 teacher-pairs—a classroom teacher paired with either the school librarian or media specialist—and students to the importance of NYC's water source and local water conservation issues and solutions.

Teacher-pairs will participate in five full-day professional learning sessions to learn how to create an after-school club at their school, engage experts from the field in a meaningful way to investigate issues related to NYC’s water supply, facilitate experiential and service learning opportunities for their students, and cultivate critical thinking and individual voice within their students. Teachers will co-lead an after-school club, a ‘Wave of Action Team,’ for 15-20 students in grades 3-5. Wave of Action Teams will meet weekly after school to engage students in exploring the value of a healthy watershed and water supply, the role we play in protecting the health of our water system, and how students can promote conservation. 

Wave of Action Program Structure

  • Teacher-pairs will run each after-school Wave of Action Team meeting; a classroom teacher paired with either the school librarian or media specialist.

  • Both teachers must be able to meet with their after-school Wave of Action Team at least once a week and keep in regular communication with the Wave of Action program team at GESC.

  • Teacher-pairs selected to participate are expected to attend five professional learning sessions that take place on school days in October, November, December, January, and February from 8:30am-3:00pm; per diem substitute coverage will be provided. 

  • By early January directly following the fourth professional learning session, teachers will recruit a group of 15-20 students in grades 3, 4, and/or 5 to participate in the Wave of Action Team.

  • Over the course of the program, teachers will share their club schedule, activities, successes, and challenges with the Wave of Action program team, and will receive free resources and tools to support the launch and implementation of the after-school Wave of Action Team.

  • Teachers and their Wave of Action Team may visit GESC for a "Wonderful World of Water" field trip and/or the Queens Botanical Garden (QBG) for a "Water: Round & Round It Goes" field trip to further support the creation of their culminating project—a public-service announcement to educate the community about the ripples we all can create to start a wave of action— that they will present at the Wave of Action Showcase on May 15, 2020 at SUNY Maritime College.

  • Teacher-pairs will collaborate regularly with the Wave of Action program team through email and phone communications to support their participation in the program throughout the school year and the Showcase in May 2020.

  • Participating teachers are also eligible to receive up to 20 hours of per session for time spent outside of regular school hours planning for and facilitating the after-school Wave of Action Team.

Timeline of Wave of Action Program

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Application deadline

Friday, September 27, 2019

Principal Letter of Support deadline

Friday, October 4, 2019

Teachers are sent final notifications of acceptance.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Day One of Professional Learning at GESC

Teachers will explore after-school club content and activities.

Teachers will learn methods of after-school club recruitment and implementation.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Day Two of Professional Learning

Teachers will dive deeper into water-related science content and activities.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Day Three of Professional Learning at The Paley Center for Media

Teachers will learn to develop a public service announcement with media-based approaches to communicate with a diverse audience.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Day Four of Professional Learning at GESC

Teachers will learn the components of service-learning.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Day Five of Professional Learning at GESC

Teachers will attend a Partner Fair with NYC/NYS water conservation-related organizations and begin to plan their Wave of Action Team.

February 2020

Teachers set day/time for weekly Wave of Action meetings with administration support.

Teachers complete recruitment for Wave of Action Team members.

Deadline to apply to per session vacancy

Mid-February through April 2020

Teachers schedule check-ins with GESC team.

Teachers carry out scientific research, lessons, and activities with their students.

Teachers and students document Wave of Action Team’s work.

Teachers hold weekly Wave of Action Team meetings, with the first beginning by mid-February.

Teachers and students will communicate with students outside NYC through a pen pal program and through Skype.

April-May 2020

Teachers guide students through preparation for presenting and sharing their public service announcement at the Wave of Action Showcase.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Student Wave of Action Team members present at the Wave of Action Showcase at SUNY Maritime College.

How to Apply

  • Click the 'Apply' button below to complete the application questions on the following screens. Make sure to click ‘Finish’ on the last screen to complete the application. Complete and submit your online application by Wednesday, September 25, 2019. You will receive a confirmation email confirming receipt of your application.

  • Ask your principal to complete and sign the Principal Letter of Support. It will be emailed directly to your principal from to confirm that your principal is aware of the time commitment necessary for participation and will support you in attending the five professional learning sessions and implementing the after-school Wave of Action Team.

  • Principal Letters of Support will be accepted through 4:00pm on Friday, September 27, 2019. Applications that do not include a Principal Letter of Support will not be considered.

Tips for Success

To be sure that you have successfully completed and submitted your application, please note the following:

  • Consider drafting your responses to the open-ended questions offline to make sure you are able to edit and save your responses, and to avoid being timed out of the application.

  • Make sure you have reviewed and finalized your responses prior to clicking the ‘Finish’ button.

  • Following submission of your application, check the email address that you provided on your application to be sure that you have received a confirmation email from

We look forward to receiving your school’s application.

The GESC Wave of Action Team