The Sprout Up Journal

Instructor of the Week

Tom Tran, Sprout Up Santa Barbara

Tom “Twig” Tran has always been a nature explorer. As a kid he wanted to dig in the dirt as an archaeologist, just like Indiana Jones. Today, he still has that same passion—biking, hiking and camping throughout Santa Barbara—and brings his knowledge of the natural world into Sprout Up classrooms.

Twig thinks that “knowledge should be shared in order to dissolve the mysteries of the world and discover it’s wonders.” He believes happiness and being in a healthy environment go hand in hand, and he has proven to stoke kids out on being outdoors and in the wild.

Tom’s dedication to our youth and to preserving the natural world seed kids’ interest in learning about the environment and preserving it.

Thank you for teachin’ with your totally rad talents, Twig!

Snail Tale

Sprout Up believes kids imaginations are the most creative of all.

This story shared by Adriana from Sprout Up Santa Cruz proves it: 

During the predator-prey lesson we asked the students if they could give us an example of an animal who is both a predator and prey. One girl, Fox, raised her hand and said: “Snails, they eat plants and French people eat them.”

We expect to hear the usual snakes or hawks sort of answer, but we like this one a lot more! Would you have thought of it?

Instructor of the Week

John Rodriguez, Sprout Up San Luis Obispo

John “Gecko” Rodriguez loves the environment because he believes “it nourishes us—both physically and spiritually.”

He translates this nourishment to the hearts of the kids in classrooms throughout San Luis Obispo. Seeing kids become excited about the world around us gets him pumped to keep teaching and keep inspiring our youth! 

Having passionate volunteers like John in our programs enhances kid’s enthusiasm to learn and his peers’ enthusiasm to teach.

Thank you for spreading the eco-love everywhere, Gecko!


Instructor of the Week

Angela Shields, Santa Barbara

Angela “Sequoia” Shields is our Instructor of the Week because she thinks “it’s important to spread awareness on issues” such as the need for science education in the classroom.

As a UC Santa Barbara student with the goal of becoming an adventure journalist, Sequoia knows that teaching our youth to take care of the world around us is vital. In her words, “future generations should be able to enjoy the beauty of nature so I think it’s important we protect the plants and animals in our environment!”

We’re thrilled to have you on the team, Angela! Thank you for all that you do.

Kids Helping Kids

And together helping the world

Sprout Up is youth to youth, meaning we are youth led, youth powered and youth focused. Because we are a bunch of students teaching students, we connect on the same level. We’re all just kids!

And the kids we teach actually teach our instructors just as much, a lot of times even more.

Our reciprocal learning relationships make for an infinite cycle of knowledge, inspiration, and empowerment.

Stay true to your kid at heart. Remember what it’s like to have boundless dreams. Know that YOU can change the world.

So do it. Change the world right now. Give one kid the chance to learn, teach, and make an impact.