December’s AwesomeNOLA Winner: Team Happy Foundation

December’s AwesomeNOLA award was a tough one! We had so many great ideas that deserved to be funded, and we really hope that a lot of folks re-apply so that they can have another chance to receive $1000 to make some fabulous projects happen.

Team Happy Foundation, with founder Happy Johnson, won our December award for his great idea to focus on working with the youth to develop the survival, preparedness and preservation skills.

Happy Johnson accepts his award at WBOK 1230AM Morning Show with Oliver Thomas and producer Lee Hardy

Happy Johnson accepts his award at WBOK 1230AM Morning Show with Oliver Thomas and producer Lee Hardy

You know we love the kids! Read his award winning application below. Remember: it doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are or who you represent, what matters is how great your idea is! And how much it will meet our mission of making NOLA a better place.

So, while we won’t be selecting a winner this January, a submission will be chosen first thing in February!

So you have until January 27, 2014 to get those applications in!!

December’s Winning Idea: Preparedness & Wetlands Club

Team Happy Foundation (THF) will utilize a grant from The Awesome Foundation to inspire and equip the next generation of first responders and environmental engineers with fun literary tools to fuel their imagination!Thus, the THF Preparedness & Wetlands Club at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School in the Lower 9th Ward will engage 50 elementary school students (second grade) during the Spring Semester and provide them with free educational material and enrichment activities.Each month in the first quarter of FY2014, 50 students will receive one new, age-appropriate children’s picture book (paperback) from the Children’s Publishing Division of THF.The combination of our read-alouds are uniquely and creatively based on the Multiple Lines of Defense Model, which identifies wetlands as our first natural line of defense against storm surge – in conjunction with individual and community preparedness planning.

Students are asked to submit a one-page handwritten book report (4 sentence minimum) and on the back of the same page, illustrate their favorite idea about the story!

The aforementioned assignments will enhance their final journal entry: a 6-step action plan on how they will help their community become more prepared for hurricane season and also, how they will become advocates for the environmental restoration of wetlands in Southeast Louisiana (3 steps for each concept).

Wednesday, January 15, 1:30-2:30p – 50 students receive The Adventures of Happy & Big Wanda. * Author reads, signs and disseminates books; explains club goals; 30mins for each separate class of 25 students. Wednesday, January 29 – book reports and illustrations are collected and picked up.

Wednesday, February 13, 1:30-2:30p – 50 students receive Fearless Delta Fox. * Hour is spent same as above. Wednesday, February 27 – book reports and illustrations are collected and picked up.

Wednesday, March 13, 1:30-3:00p – 50 students receive Backyard Bayou. * Students will receive books at urban wetlands field trip. Wednesday, March 27 – book reports, illustrations and 6-step action plans are collected/picked up.

The club’s culminating story time and book dissemination will take place during a field trip to the Viewing Platform of Bayou Bienvenue’s Wetland Triangle at the corner of Caffin and Florida Avenue. Students will hear from wildlife experts and see firsthand many of the lessons highlighted throughout the collection of books. Before departing campus for the field trip, students will watch a 20minute documentary titled Bayou Sundance produced by L9 Center for Sustainable Development and Engagement, which focuses on the urban bayou in the city’s backyard!