White Plains Church St students participated in large numbers in a Green Writing Contest. This contest is sponsored by the late Nina Chin’s Family.
Nina Chin was a life long educator who believed that students become better learners and readers through writing and every year she sponsored from her own money a writing contest for her students. Her family is keeping up this lovely tradition in her name and this year White Plains Church St Elementary School was the first White Plains school to be chosen for this prestigious grant.
Over 60 students rose to the challenge and wrote heart warming essays to the topic “How can I make a difference”. The judges had a hard time choosing the top 10 entries.
When the day of the celebration came, the auditorium was filled with excited 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, all anxiously awaiting if their essay made it. Each time Principal Myra Castillo called out a name, loud applause ripped through the room. It was very energizing.
Each winner came up to receive a certificate and an envelope (and of course a hug!) and were all smiles for the picture.
It was a wonderful experience and students learned that it pays to be a writer.
White Plains Church St elementary school was chosen this year as the proud recipient of the coveted Nina Chin Green Writing Grant. Students of grade 3 through grade 5 were invited to voluntarily write an essay on how they personally can make a difference in this world.
Nina Chin was a lifelong educator and she believed that writing is the key to being a better reader and a better person. Every year she sponsored from her own money a writing contest among her students. Upon her passing, her children decided to carry on this lovely tradition and have sponsored one school in Westchester every year.
Over 50 students rose to the challenge and Myra Castillo, Principal, is holding proudly the stacks of essays from her students.
These essays are right now on the desk of two retired teachers that are “judging” them. Ten students will be proud winners of a nice envelope for their work. We cannot wait until the celebration, that is soon to come. Watch this space!
This is the gym of the New Rochelle Davis Elementary school. Beautifully decorated thanks to the tireless PTA. The entire school was buzzing with the excitement of the International Dinner. Hallways walls were floor to ceiling decorated with the artwork of students depicting traditional things of their homes.
Tables weighed down with delicious foods of all corners of this earth lined the perimeter of the gym and in the middle of this all was one recycling station. Not tons of trash cans as it is often the case for these events.
Davis Elementary school under the leadership of Anthony Brambola and Laurie Marinaro have fully embraced going green and are actively supporting bringing recycling to all school events.
And parents had the chance to sort their waste just like their kids do every day. It was very charming seeing a Kindergarten student pulling mom behind her to explain carefully what item goes in what bin. And then she declared with a smile that mom now saved the world!
Yes, every one can save the world, one every day activity at a time.
Parents needed a bit of encouragement to actually look at the signage, which clearly outlined where recyclables, compostables and trash needed to be placed. But of course, once they got it, they were enthusiastic about it.
Saving the world is really about education and that small changes of every day behavior makes a huge difference. This event would have generated a whopping 20 bags of trash if we had not sorted it. Instead through sorting we had 4 bags of commingled, 3 bags of foodwaste to be composted and only one bag of trash (most of which were bunched up plastic table clothes…..mmmmh, lets switch to fabric table cloths for next year!)
Davis Elementary School is a shining example of how a whole community can be educated to become green..
Implementing a Recycling Program in a building with 3500 students is a daunting experience. It is a mini city. How does one get these many people to change their wicked ways?
We Future Cycle has done just that this school year and now 3500 students and hundreds of teachers and other adult staff are fully trained to separate their packaging from food waste so each can go into recycling or composting. Garbage was reduced from 100 bags every day, to about 2. All the rest of the material is sorted into recyclable packaging and compostable organics.
All 4 lunchrooms are successfully participating and all classrooms are sporting paper, commingled and trash receptacles, reducing garbage even further.
The last frontier were the outside areas and We Future Cycle and the high school grounds staff are tackling this problem now. Green recycling bins displaying colorful informational stickers as well as an educational board explaining the stunning economics of recycling are popping up next to the outdoor garbage cans.
And today, we took a peek to get the answer to the question. Do high school students transfer learned behavior to other life situations when offered the easy logistics. And the answer was a very satisfying. YES!
Check out this wonderfully sorted content of recycling bin. I promise, I did not mitigate before taking the picture!
Celebrating Earthday is no small matter in New Rochelle Trinity Elementary School. Assistant Principal Michael Hildebrand scheduled presenters from We Future Cycle for all Kindergarten through 3rd grades and the school was positively vibrating with good energy.
In class by class presentations, second graders learned concepts of what materials can bio-degrade and what that means in terms of this material entering our environment. They learned about decomposition, seed germination and a touch of the chemical processes behind that.
Students had the opportunity to be hands-on scientists and explored how different materials interacted with water. quite messy in fact, but also eye opening to learn and experience that plastics are not changed by water, other than broken into smaller plastic pieces over time, until they are small enough to enter the food chain.
Watching a heart wrenching short movie about how wild life is affected by plastic in our environment started a spirited discussion on what each and every one of them can do to solve this problem. Students decided to become vocal to educate other about the problem. Check out these fabulous posters as the result. These are mini-environmentalists on their way to become agents of change. Way to go!
Being in an elementary level lunchroom is not for the faint hearted. The noise level is deafening. But fearlessly, We Future Cycle set up the Lunchroom Environmental Scavenger Hunt in New Rochelle Trinity’s lunchroom.
As 3rd graders came in, they bee-lined to the colorful posters, all depicting shocking data about environmental problems surrounding them. They open mouthed stared at pictures of turtles eating a floating plastic bag while trying to figure out what a trillion plastic bags per year in the world actually means. And they are not alone, it is a staggering number that nobody can really wrap their head around. Students that wanted to participate in the game were sent to eat first and then come and get a detective sheet. In order to answer the questions, students had to study the poster boards carefully and they were all game to play.
And as they worked (quietly, there was a marked noise level difference), they learned and shared with their friend the surprise about some of these staggering facts. The US alone uses 500 Million straws every single day!
Rye Town just joined “The Last Straw” Campaign. Everybody can make a difference by ditching straws, replacing single serve plastic bags and being good about recycling all appropriate materials.
They also learned about the dismal recycling rate of single serve plastic bottles. These kids are old hands in recycling and they asked me why not everybody was just recycling…. Good question, indeed.
Under the leadership of Assistant Principal Michael Hildebrand, New Rochelle Trinity students are able to participate in school wide Earth Day activities and are loving it.
A team of We Future Cycle presenters descended upon the school and had great fun introducing kindergarten students and first graders to worms and worm composting.
Students were somewhat hesitant when they saw the worms, some leaned far back into their chairs, some even voiced how nervous they were. But learning about how worms master this world, and how important their jobs are, won them over and when the time came to get down and dirty with a handful of worms on a wet paper towel, they were all game. Armed with the new minted knowledge of how worms moved, they watched with the magnifying glass (it was not really needed, but they all LOVED having one in their hand) At the end of the lesson, each worm had a name, and all expressed their love, one student asked if she could kiss him…. 🙂
The key to environmental literacy is sustained education around different aspects. Trinity elementary students are old hands at sorting in the lunchroom, being the longest school on board of the We Future Cycle recycling program. Flawlessly they separate commingled from food waste and from remaining trash. And with the never wavering support of the Trinity administrations, students are treated regularly to environmental education and they are loving it!. Today’s classes were suppose to be 45 min, but often, I did not get out of there until 1:15 min because students had so many great questions. This is how future environmental leaders are made.