Tag Archives: Trinityelementaryschool

New Rochelle Trinity students write for the environment

The auditorium at New Rochelle Trinity school was packed with excited 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. There was a hushed silence with raw anticipation. Up front were 4 dignitaries and the assistant principal welcoming the kids to the auditorium.

4 weeks ago, Trinity students were invited to participate in a green writing contest. With real money for the winners. And over 75 students rose to the challenge and wrote beautiful essays about the topic ” Everything I do matters!” and it was such a beautiful affair to see and hear the students cheer for the classmates that were called up one by one to receive their certificate and their envelop.

This writing contest is sponsored by the family of the late Nina Chin. Ms Chin was a lifelong educator and believed strongly that good writers are good learners and to encourage her own students to write, she sponsored every year a writing contest from her money. Her family loved this tradition that they chose to continue it in her memory and every year one or two New Rochelle schools are chosen to become recipients of this award. Anna Giordano, from We Future Cycle, the organization that is hired by the New Rochelle school district to bring sustainability programs and education to all 11.500 students is the administer of this award and is always delighted to help schools run this exciting contest.

This year, the essays all centered around the garbage in the oceans and the students all realized that everything they did mattered!

Here are some excerpts of the main points by the winners.

Third Grade
Mariah Valencia has done extensive research into plastics going into the oceans and how they never bio degrade but only brake into smaller plastic pieces until they are micro plastics and she ends with a plea to think before you buy.
Gaby Sanchez pledges to share her knowledge about the need to clean up with others, she will encourage others to be clean, to not throw garbage around so they understand that the world needs to be clean again.
Mateo Rojas shares that he always picks up trash when he sees it because he knows that animals die when they eat plastics. He thinks far in the future, realizing that we only have one world and that we must think about our actions in terms of how it affects our planet long term.
Zaire Spencer explains how sorting in the lunchroom is a big step of making the world a better place and shares about personal plans to create machines that will pick up plastics and make plastics back into fuel to use in cars. Great ideas!
Samin Ashrafi has a beautiful coverpage with a picture of the world and a thermometer in its mouth, showing how our world is being made sick by all the garbage. Samin shows that the motto “everything I do matters” really goes to the heart of doing the RIGHT thing.
Katherine Kann discusses in depth how pollution and garbage causes health problems to not just animals but also to people. She did extensive research and has interesting examples of rivers in India. And then she asks the reader what can be done about the problem and points out that what Trinity students do every day in the lunchroom is the basic solution to the worlds garbage problem. She ends with the powerful call to action. Be Part Of The Solution!
Fourth Grade
Ricardo Mendoza lays out the problem in a very visual way by outlining that our actions of putting materials in the garbage can, leads often to that garbage ending up in the oceans harming wild life. He then lays out ideas of upcycling materials by making creative new products out of bottlecaps. He lays out solution by organizing clean ups and how to create less garbage.
Kristina Sacarello is looking back to the time when Trinity students were not sorting in the lunchroom, and realizes that schools can lead the way and help our Earth little by little. She pledges for all people to come together and not throw wrappers or cans out of the window anymore. She ends by forecasting a dire future of our one planet if we don’t save it.
Fifth Grade
David George writes about hands on solution. He says we can help make the world healthy again by taking all the trash out of the oceans and sorting our land waste. He goes beyond garbage by pointing out that our energy uses and water uses are important too and suggests that people close the faucet when they don’t need water and that they don’t leave the lights on . And he talks extensively about personal choices that affect garbage by what we buy, what we use and how we dispose of it.
Kamryn Tung goes into details on how personal choices make a big difference. He cites how Trinity student divert everyday 97% of their trash by simply sorting it and he points out that being vocal and spreading the word about how these simple every day activities make a real difference is where the power of change lies.
Lincey Basile goes in detail of her personal deeds to save the world., She takes short showers to save water and energy, she spreads the word about how important recycling is, she picks up trash, recycles at school every day and stop using single use things, rather use a real metal fork and wash it. She ends up by underlining that many little changes make a big change. Way to go.
Lennon Dascal starts out by engaging the reader with the simple question. “does my little straw hurt anybody? It won’t make a difference. And then he explains how everything matters because it is never just one little straw, it is always many many many straws., He describes that in his house only reusables are used as it is so important to reuse rather then to throw plastics away that will never go away. Because there is no “away” on this Earth. Wise words
Kelis Gardner offers many examples of what to reusable options we have that will not result in trash. She lists examples on how to be green inside and outside of school by picking up garbage and sorting correctly and she explains in detail the horrible effects that plastics in our oceans have on wild life. She ends with a call to action :DO NOT USE PLASTIC ANYMORE.
Andrea Storvig Newson describes how she and her friend went to a picnic in the park and suddenly realized just how much trash was around and that made them spring into action to clean up. Feeling good about ones good deeds is the basis to repeat good deeds and that is what she pledge will do. Andrea also shared a story of finding a bird in the bush that was all entangled in a fishing line. She brought the animal to the vet and it was saved, but she underlines that even though this bird was lucky to get saved many others are not that lucky and that is why we have to tackle pollution.
Michelle Zheng stats facts about how much trash is being produced per person and how it multiplies through the population to astronomical amounts. Michelle realizes she has the power to teach and influence others to make changes through small adjustments. Because reducing by reusing, recycling is not hard to do. Yes, students like Michelle have tremendous power to influence others to do the right thing.

New Rochelle Trinity Lunchroom Cleaner empowering students

Meet Brian, New Rochelle Trinity’s long term lunchroom cleaner. He is running one of the busiest lunchrooms in the district with about 150 kids per lunch period by himself. And it does not phase him. Calmly he keeps everything clean and organized and the kids love him.

Trinity is one of the first New Rochelle schools to run the We Future Cycle program and has never wavered and by now, the entire school population has never seen anything  but calmly getting up, walking to the recycling station and sorting their lunch waste into excess liquid, recyclable, non-recyclable and compostable, thus reducing garbage by 97%.

Brian has been helping with this process and thanks to his friendly and inviting attitude, he has student helpers every day, clamoring for the job. Brian’s only rule is that the students have to have eaten first and then everybody gets a chance to help. Sometimes he has more helpers than space, but he is a wonderful sport about it.

This kind of adult support is what makes the Trinity program so special and sustainable, there is buy-in from all adults and it permeates through the building.

Thank you, Brian for all you do.

New Rochelle Trinity 1st Graders learn about Worms and love them

Walking into a classroom of 1st graders, armed with a bin of worms is a fun thing. Students usually squirm a bit, are slightly afraid and timidly even voice that feeling, but in general, get engaged very quickly to learn about why wriggly, slimy worms are so important to our world.

Students learn that worms are living beings that breathe through their skin. I enjoy watching them looking in disbelief at their skin trying to grasp the concept. Worms can eat enormous amounts , half of their body weight every day. To demonstrate that to the students I have them get up and put their hand at slightly above their waste and ask them to look down upon their legs and to imagine to have THAT much to eat every day.

After learning how they move, what muscles can do, how worms reproduce (by laying cocoons that contain 2 to 3 live worms, just in case the intrepid reader of this post was interested in these details), students had a chance to get up close and personal with a handful of worms.

image4Checking out to see the castings in the translucent tail sections of the worm gave way to great excitement and when we found the mother load of cocoons, the students were beside themselves with excitement.

Teaching students that every living being has important jobs to do and without these jobs done, everybody is in trouble is an important life lesson for kids to learn. All worms ended up with names. Jeffrey seemed to be the favorite. Students wrote afterwards what they learned about worms and they all agreed that worms are our friends.

 

“It smells just like wet forest” Trinity K students learn how to sort their waste and what compost is.

New Rochelle Trinity Elementary School is entering its 5th year running the We Future Cycle recycling program and students are getting trained on how to sort their lunch waste into compost, recyclables and trash.

Like every year, We Future Cycle presenters swoop upon the school and go from classroom to classroom to playfully introduce the students to the concept of recycling and to the problems attached to garbage. All students start out considering anything empty as garbage. Upon asking if they thought I brought them recycling, they clearly were reconsidering their position and some raised their hands. And they were quite astonished to learn that I just brought them packaging material, and they decided if that became garbage or recycling. It was fascinating to watch how something shifted inside them. THEY decided on something as important as putting something in recycling.

The We Future Cycle Recycling program teaches children to separate recyclable material from food and non recyclable material, and this reduces garbage by a whopping 97%. Trinity is consistently at below 6 lbs of trash from the entire lunch of nearly 1000 students.

Students learned that packaging is similar to Lego. If is put into the correct bin, it can be taken apart again and the same material blocks can be used to build something new. Students totally get that concept!

Learning that left over food can be recycled too was a bit of a stretch for them, but when I showed them what compost looked like and let them smell it, they all agreed that it is much better to make good soil than burn our banana peel.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New Rochelle Trinity 2nd Grader Study Biodegradable and Photodegradable Materials In Our Environment

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.

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Exploring if water changes the structure of plastic

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!

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Lunchroom Environmental Scavenger Hunt at New Rochelle Trinity

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.

New Rochelle Trinity Offers School-Wide Earth Day Presentations. K and 1 Love Their New Friends

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.