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By Sarah Thompson
Eller Finance ’13

Manzo Elementary School students

Manzo Elementary School students help seal a new water harvesting cistern at the school.
Photo courtesy Manzo Elementary School.

AdCats — the student-run advertising group at the University of Arizona — turned its talents to support of Manzo Elementary School in December. The school, which had been on the short list of possible closures by Tucson Unified School District, collaborated with the students to demonstrate its innovations in sustainability.

Manzo is moving toward developing a PACE-Grade 5 curriculum centered on reconciliation ecology, the science of inventing and establishing new habitats to conserve species diversity in places people occupy. Students learn through hands-on horticulture and reconciliation ecology. Last year, the Catalina Church of Midtown in Tucson donated $35,000 to Manzo so that its students could build a greenhouse.

AdCats helped coordinate the greenhouse’s dedication at an event, “Made in Manzo,” in December. The students developed an event promotion and marketing campaign that included print, interactive marketing, and social media.

The event included food from the Tucson Food Truck Roundup and performances of original songs by Manzo students in each grade. School officials also hoped to draw TUSD board members to Manzo grounds to demonstrate their unique approach to learning.

“We were excited about the opportunity to help Manzo in their efforts to get the word out about this amazing school,” said Megan Mitchell from AdCats. “Because the work we can do to increase enrollment is really limited by the school’s location, we proposed the event specifically to impress the TUSD board.”

TUSD has since announced that it will be converting Manzo Elementary School to a charter school. In January, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools recognized Manzo on its list of Best of Green Schools.

Learn more about AdCats on the student group’s Facebook page.