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It Takes A Village to Pay it Forward-Eco Campus

By: jduncan

[image] waste free lunch

Environmental Weekly Activities-

     Students learned a lot with the daily focus on one activity for each day of the week. The activities became a valuable part of the week with our Student Leadership Team reminding staff and students with advertisements. These came in the form of daily announcements with raps and poems. The rap for Monday and using less electricity was most effective. The environmental weekly focus was also in our " Paw Print"(our online school newsletter), school webpage, classroom webpage, and principal's weekly announcements.

     Once we motivated the student body we held a poster contest with individuals creating posters for each daily activity. We also sent out flyers with invite codes and got parents and students at home to log on and make comments. Networking was a key component as well. We involved custodians, cafeteria, classified, and certificated staff. The daily task focus was simple enough, that many could participate. They were: Mondays-use less electricity, Tuesdays-pack a waste-free lunch, Wednesday-walk or ride your bike to school, Thursday-whole school trash pick-up, Friday-chose any of the 4 to do. The Tuesday and Wednesday events needed an annoucement reminder the day before for students' to remember. We also sent out flyers weekly for awhile to help with effort. For Wednesdays, walk or ride your bike to school, needed parent involvement, and soon parents were riding their bikes with their child to school. We are lucky where we live, as our weather is fairly mild. The whole school trash pick-up just needed a annoucement reminder and teachers were able to take their class out, when they had a break in their day. It got to the point where our lights were low on Monday, less trash on Tuesdays, bike rack full on Wednesdays, and no trash on Thursdays, which led to a clean campus.

     We also encouraged a daily trash sort. We separated our trash into 4 separate areas-wet waste, recycle, empty milk cartons/capri suns, and stacking lunch trays. Our signs needed replacement often (we laminated them with pictures), and student leadership needed to be out to assist students with sort. Once they learned it, most students did their best to put their trash in the proper container. This led to less trash in the bins. We also audited our trash at the beginning of the year. We weighed and sorted into 4 areas, which was valuable data. Then we did the audit again at the end of the year and found less waste in all bins. This task required adult volunteers to help.

[image] whole school trash pick-up

     After months of reminding and remembering the students began to do the daily tasks on their own. This was exciting to observe. We held a final assembly to celebrate our accomplishments. We awarded students who won the poster contest. (we will use their art for future advertisements, etc.) We attached a character from "Winnie the Pooh" to each day which helped with recognition and habits. Winnie the Pooh was for less electricity, Tigger was for waste-free lunch, Piglet was for walk or ride to school,  and Eeyore was for whole school trash pick up. At our assembly, we had our sixth grade violinists play the song from, "Winnie the Pooh", they made posters for each day with the character, and performed 2 skits. This was the final encouragement, and with the student's enthusiasm (which was a show of hands about daily involvement), listening to the song, and seeing the skits; this became a successful participation of what an Eco-Campus should emulate. The positive reaction during the assembly led to the mastery of this cornerstone for Meiners Oaks Elementary School.

 [image] Violins-Winnie the Pooh

 

 [image] eco poster-use less electricity

[image] eco-poster-walk or ride to school

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