Kathie diStefano employs interactive techniques and creative arts to build awareness for environmental themes.
February 2019: Ms Kathie presents....shows in Baltimore City elementary schools 
Operation Trash workshops, Lyceum Vos high school, NL 

 
March 2019:
The Fish Net, elementary school in Vlaardingen, NL 

January 2019:  

Mavo Vos Operation Trash Poster Project  
Playing in a Cleaner Neighborhood, Jan Ligthart Elementary, NL
 
Rotterdam-Baltimore City Link collaboration 
 
November 2018:
Avon Grove Charter School visit to discuss potential exchange program, West Grove, PA, USA 
Operation Trash workshops at Montfort College, Rotterdam, NL 
 
October:
Baltimore Public Works meetings to kick off collaboration  
Young Audiences of Baltimore presentation for staff, Baltimore, USA 

Week of Sustainability, workshops, Geuzencollege, Vlaardingen, NL 
 
Sept-Oct:
Playing in a Cleaner Neighborhood at Dr. Bavinck Elementary, Vlaardingen, NL


August:
Operation Trash lectures at Montfort College & Wolfert College, Rotterdam, NL 

 
June:
Directed The Eco News Show performed by children from BSO De Schakel, Vlaardingen, NL 

 
April – May:
Operation Trash Virtual Exchange, linking Lakeland Elementary Middle School in Baltimore with Het Balkon in Maassluis, the Netherlands. 

 
March 5-9:
School visits in Baltimore, meeting with Baltimore Department of Public Works, Baltimore Rotterdam Sister City Committee, Baltimore Green Maps, among other partners for the Operation Trash Virtual Exchange program. 

 
Feb 27:
Kathie diStefano presents... an interactive lecture at Somerford, assisted living community, Newark, DE, USA 

 
Feb 21:
Rotterdam Baltimore Sister City meeting, De Rotterdam, Wilhelminakade 177, Rotterdam, NL 

 
Feb 1- Feb 22:
'Playing in a Cleaner Neigbhorhood” visit elementary school Het Christal in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands 

 
Feb 5 - 7:
Operation Trash Workshops at Montfort College, Rotterdam, NL  

 
  
2019 Upcoming: 
  
May:
Leading a weekend clown workshop with Dresden Medi-Clowns 

 
June:
Operation Trash workshop at Mavo Vos, Vlaardingen, NL
Avalanche Arts Teams up with Baltimore City  
From February 25 – March 1st Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) and Avalanche Arts, led by Kathie diStefano, continued to work on their collaboration designed to teach trash management and build recycling awareness. Avalanche Arts has been working on this theme full time for over 10 years in Rotterdam, as well as in Vlaardingen and Maassluis, smaller towns boarding Rotterdam and often referred to as ‘greater Rotterdam City’. Although Dutch and American cultures can come across as very different at times, their struggle with litter, trash reduction and good recycling strategies are similar in many ways. 
 
The DPW – Avalanche Arts collaboration will continue throughout 2019. The next phase of the collaboration will be done remote and in October 2019 Ms diStefano will again travel to Baltimore to work with the city’s recycling and communication teams. The first step is to create a slide show presentation for middle school students, along with a series of teacher guide materials and worksheets. DPW community liaisons will visit schools to share this work and all teaching materials will be placed on DPW’s website so that interested schools can access the trash lessons directly. Avalanche Arts is excited about sharing their expertise in trash and recycling education with Baltimore City and are looking forward to continuing the work with DPW’s recycling teams.
Ms Kathie’s Seagull Mamma show is both an introduction to theater as well as a lesson in trash management and recycling for young audiences. So it was fitting that when Kathie diStefano, Avalanche Arts, visited elementary schools in Baltimore in late February and early March that her collaboration was with Young Audiences of Maryland.
Baybrook Elementary and Wolfe Street Academy were both visited where Ms Kathie performed to audiences ages 4-6. As with most of her shows, this performance piece is an interactive comedy show designed to teach kids how important it is to throw trash away where it belongs. At Baybrook she performed to 150 kids, assembly style, and at Wolfe Street an audience of 50 children experienced her show in a more intimate setting. Silly moves, recycling bin falling on her head and a play along story where children from the audience joined her on stage, were elements that captivated her audiences. 
For the show’s finale Ms Kathie put on a pair of clogs and proceeded to teach the children a Dutch Trash Song, translating it as she went along. The shows left all wanting more, so plans are in place for another ‘Baltimore City Schools Tour’ in late October into early November 2019.
‘The Seagull Mamma’ show is an English version of the Dutch ‘Zeemeuw Mamma’, part of the educational programs that visit schools in the Netherlands. There are lessons that go along with the show, tips on how to run a successful community clean up and all kinds of projects and inspiring links for the teachers to share with their students. Avalanche Arts, Stichting Lawine in Dutch, have been touring Dutch elementary and high schools for many years and since 2007 with their trash and recycling educational program. Avalanche Arts show schools how easy it can be to add trash and recycling themes to required curriculum in a user friendly way. Avalanche Arts operate from their base in Rotterdam, go to stichtinglawine.nl for more information on their Dutch programs and kathiedistefano.com for their English site.
Avalanche Arts Teams Up With Baltimore City 
Kathie diStefano has been commissioned to work with the Baltimore Department of Public Works (DPW)
to increase awareness for their litter challenges and recycling goals. This collaboration kicked off in November 2018 and will continue until Earth Day 2019 when new educational materials will be launched in Baltimore schools and posted on the DPW website.
Young Audiences of Baltimore Invites Ms Kathie To Artist Roster 
Ms Kathie’s introduction to theater program will be offered to Baltimore City schools through the Young Audiences of Baltimore arts in schools program. Her program incorporates storytelling with the trash and recycling theme. Audience participation and play along theater techniques will be used to teach preschool through grade 2 about the importance of throwing trash away where it belongs and the consequences for our wildlife and waterways when people don’t. The program will also include Dutch elements to highlight the Rotterdam-Baltimore Sister City connection.  

Visiting American Green Schools  
 
In 2018 I visited Avon Grove Charter School in West Grove, PA several times. They have an extensive environmental program including small farm located on their school site. Students help take care of the animals and are responsible for planting, harvesting and selling their school's garden vegetables. Avon Grove Charter students are also taught about water conservation and test local waters throughout the year as part of their science studies. This school is an inspiration for Green Schools education!
Talking shop with garden teacher 
Kathie diStefano with Kevin Ham, Avon Grove Charter School Principal 
Avon Grove Garden Pond
Katharine Richardson, science teacher, Avon Grove Charter School
Early 2018
Operation Trash Virtual Exchange 2018 will take off in March and run through the end of May. The Dutch partner, Het Balkon, an elementary school in Massluis located just outside of Rotterdam, will be linked with Lakeland Elementary Middle School, in southern Baltimore. Students from both schools will be meeting virtually through an introduction video that they make and upload to a remote learning site. Participants will be learning about each others culture and daily routines both in and outside school. After the introduction phase students will then focus on how their partner country deals with trash and recycling challenges in their communities and how our current trash behavior is affecting the planet. Students will be activated to 'think global, and act local' in this international cultural project. While each school has only one class participating in the exchange, the rest of the school will be energized with extra 'green theme' programs. Balkon and Lakeland, welcome aboard!
Dates early 2018
Feb 1- Feb 22: 'Playing in a Cleaner Neigbhorhood” visit elementary school Het Christal in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands
Feb 5 - 7: Operation Trash Workshops at Montfort College, Rotterdam
Feb 21: Rotterdam Baltimore Sister City meeting, De Rotterdam, Wilhelminakade 177
Feb 27: Kathie diStefano presents... an interactive lecture at Somerford, assisted living community, 501 South Harmony Road, Newark, DE, USA
March 5-9: Kathie will be visiting schools in Baltimore, meeting with Baltimore Public Works, Baltimore Rotterdam Sister City Committee, Baltimore Green Maps, among other partners for the Operation Trash Virtual Exchange program.
April – May: Operation Trash Virtual Exchange, linking Lakeland Elementary Middle School in Baltimore with Het Balkon in Maassluis, the Netherlands.
Events autumm 2017
Blog
Operation Trash Virtual Exchange, an inter-cultural project linking students in the Rotterdam area with students in Baltimore, will be expanding to incorporate a collaboration with animation artist Lynn Tomilson. Together with Rachel Sengers, Baltimore Rotterdam Sister City Committee chair, they visited Avalanche Arts on August 14, 2017 to discuss project content and strategy. 
 
After touring the Avalanche Arts campus a meeting was held to discuss project details. Lynn Tomilson, also professor at Towson University in Baltimore, has created an interactive animation film which will be used in this exchange project. After seeing a video of the film being presented to an audience I got very inspired to give it a platform here in the Netherlands. The film content revolves around a crab who is learning how to deal with the trash that humans are dumping into our rivers and seas.
Meetings are scheduled with several museums in Rotterdam, to discuss potential collaboration.  
Ineke Lindner, director Villa Zebra with Kathie diStefano, Rotterdam 15 august 2017
News
Operation Trash Virtual Exchange was launched in 2016. During this pilot year two Dutch schools in the Rotterdam area were linked with two schools in Baltimore, MD. Enough support has been found to initiate a follow up for a virtual exchange. The ‘pioneer year’ proved very exciting, full of insights as to how to run a virtual exchange between students in different countries. Remote learning websites and strategies, communication between partnering schools, and meeting deadlines are a few examples of challenges that were experienced along the way. As the Dutch would say ‘Het smaakt naar meer’; this project left participants ‘wanting more’. Fortunately the Dutch chapter of the World Wildlife Fund will continue to provide seed money subsidy for this Operation Trash Exchange. Together with the Baltimore Rotterdam Sister City Committee, operating out of the mayor's office, plans are being made to secure additional funding and partner schools.
August 24: Operation Trash Workshops was held at Montfort College, Rotterdam.
mid September: Playing in a Cleaner Neighborhood; a series of after-school workshops at De Schakel, an elementary school located in Vlaardingen.
October 31: Halloween Recycling workshops planned at Filbert Street Community Garden, Baltimore, MD.
November 2: Operation Trash Exchange workshop at Recreational Center in Curtis-Bay, Baltimore.
November 6: Operation Trash presentation-workshop at Enoch Pratt Library, Curtis-Bay, Baltimore.