DEEP: 2008 School GreenCircle Award Recipients

GreenCircle Award Recipients
2008 School Related

Name of School Facility

Category/Activity

Description of Activity

Luke Knisley and
Matt Mutch
6th Grade Students
Canton Intermediate School
Canton, CT

Successfully implement an innovative and unique recycling program. Luke Knisley and Matt Mutch, 6th graders, implemented a plastic recycling at Canton Intermediate School this year.  They met with the principal and the head custodian to see if this would work in their school.  The principal and custodian gave permission to recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans.  The boys then met with all 17 teachers to discuss the plan that each classroom have a cardboard box and to ask one student from each class to be in charge of dumping the cardboard boxes into the recycle barrel in the custodial hallway.  Both boys gave a speech to the classroom representatives on how the bottles should be handled in the classroom.  (“Dump it and cap it” was their motto.)   In the cafeteria the boys set up a recycle barrel and a “dumping bucket” for the 3 shifts of lunch.  They made up recycle signs for all of the barrels and all 17 boxes.  As a reminder, the boys have spoken to the entire school on the PA to remind them to recycle in the cafeteria and the classroom.  There are three schools in Canton, only Canton Intermediate School is recycling at the moment.  Thanks to Matt and Luke’s efforts, they hope next year to get the other two schools on board.

Connecticut Association of Boards of Education
Wethersfield, CT

Voluntarily contributing significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, DEP fish and wildlife projects, water quality monitoring programs, or lake, river, or watershed associations.

The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) has awarded school districts with "Awards of Excellence," for thirty years. For the first time in 2008, CABE included a category called Going Green (your most environmentally friendly ideas) which contains areas such as energy conservation, recycling and reduction of carbon footprints. CABE awarded three school districts with the Awards of Excellence – Going Green. The West Hartford district for their energy conservation and recycling accomplishment; the Waterford Public School for being the first elementary school in Connecticut that is geothermally heated and cooled; and Stafford High School for introducing a new course called Environmentally Science which teaches ways to be green. By providing this award for outstanding accomplishments CABE encourages school districts to participate in programs that will enhance not only their schools but their communities and families as well.

Rudy Chiti
4th Grade Teacher and
Don MacMillan
Huckleberry Hill Elementary School
Brookfield, CT

Successfully implement an innovative and unique recycling program.

Students at Huckleberry Hill Elementary School have finished a million-part project that was 14 years in the making. A decade and a half ago, fourth-grade teacher Don MacMillan came up with the idea to collect 1 million tabs from soda cans and donate the aluminum. The effort, he thought, would encompass many aspects of math while also promoting charity. When Don MacMillan retired three years ago, the project was passed along to incoming teacher Rudy Chiti. The tabs will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in New Haven to be melted into scrap aluminum and sold at market price. The tabs come to a collective weight of 790 pounds, and at about $2.60 per pound they are worth just over $2,000.00. The soda cans are made of a different type of aluminum and are unable to be recycled the same way as the tabs.

Beyond the tab collection, recycling is heavily emphasized at Huckleberry Hill School. Across from Chiti’s classroom, student-made posters about the importance of recycling adorn the wall, while others celebrate Earth Day. Additionally, every week children are given "green tips" during morning announcements, and periodic assemblies focus on environmental issues.

Karen Evans
Teacher
Old Saybrook Middle School
Old Saybrook, CT

Donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects (e.g., projects or programs promoted by youth groups, community based organizations, businesses, or environmental entities).

Karen Evans assisted the students in developing energy conservation projects to educate the school and local community about ways to conserve energy. The projects included posters for the school; placemats for a local restaurant; the writing, direction and performance of a commercial for the school's morning news program; articles written for the school newspaper; staffing an energy conservation booth at the local Wal-Mart; and developing an informational booth on global warming that was on display at the school.

Roaring Brook School Student Body
Avon, CT

Promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats; voluntarily contributing significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, DEP fish and wildlife projects, water quality monitoring programs, or lake, river, or watershed associations; and successfully implementing an innovative and unique pollution prevention program that generates an environmental benefit.

The entire student body at Roaring Brook School (RBS) has been hard at work, improving their recycling efforts throughout the school and strengthening their environmental stewardship. During the 2007-2008 school year, the students at RBS have stepped up their recycling efforts both in the cafeteria and in their classrooms:
Students recycle milk and juice cartons, #1 and #2 plastics, and metal food containers in the cafeteria. As a fun way to remind students that water bottle caps should not be recycled, Mr. Pereira suggested a "Keep the Cap" effort where students throw their cap into a large water cooler jug instead of throwing them away. The caps will eventually be used in an art project.
Students separate mixed paper/office paper and plastic water bottles/juice cartons from their classroom waste stream in recycling bins purchased for each classroom and office area by the RBS PTO.
A rotation of Fourth Grade students also help the custodial staff empty several rolling "satellite" recycling bins into the school’s larger outdoor recycling dumpsters. The rolling "satellite" bins are used to collect the recyclables collected in each classroom’s recycling bins, and were also purchased by the RBS PTO.
Students participated in several activities during the week of CT Recycles Day, including: signing Recycling Promise Cards; collecting old cell phones for recycling; collecting old sneakers for the National Geographic Kids Magazine’s Guinness Book of World Records contest; RBS’s contribution of over 400 sneakers helped create the World’s Longest Chain of Sneakers, all of which were then donated by National Geographic Kids Magazine to the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program; and students also collecting empty inkjet printer cartridges in the computer room year-round.

Saint Patrick Cathedral School
Norwich, CT

Promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats.

Each student in the Third Grade was asked to pick, from the Connecticut Endangered Species List, an endangered species. The students needle felted their endangered species selection and then all of the species were sewn together to make a quilt. Each student had to research the animal or plant they selected and write about it. The students typed what they had written in computer class and the material will be assembled into a book for the school to keep. This project was a great learning experience for the students because it made them more aware of the plants and animals that are endangered right here in Connecticut and how they could help protect their environment. Through their writings, the third graders were able to bring an awareness to other students.

5th Grade
Warren School
Warren, CT

Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year.

The Fifth Grade Class has taken on the enhancement and beautification of the small triangle in the center of town. Their efforts have enhanced and improved the beauty of the "green" area in the center of town to make this spot more welcoming to all who pass by. This project preceded the Memorial Day celebration and therefore was done in honor of those that have afforded them opportunities, such as this, to freely take part in beautifying their community.

Kathi Brown
Librarian
Warren School
Warren, CT

Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year.

The year of 2007 was a continuation of the refurbishment of the Secret Gardens. Students raked all of the gardens out and clipped back bushes. The Secret Garden continues to offer a creative area to read and teach lessons for all staff and their classes.

Susan Carpenter
1st Grade Teacher
Warren School
Warren, CT

Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year and promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats.

Their butterfly project continued in Second Grade at Warren School. This year's students helped to gather both egg and larval stages, and they had the added excitement of finding them right outside their back door for the very first time. They have made a concerted effort to grow and maintain milkweed plants in their butterfly garden for the last three years, and coupled that with many discussions about native and non native species, and invasive plants. Students released seven monarchs, after caring for the caterpillars, and attempted to identify other types of butterflies visiting the garden. They are continuing to maintain the garden and study, record and identify butterflies. In addition, students had a beekeeper visit them in February to discuss the unexplained demise of the honeybees. They are beginning to study the habitat necessary to sustain honeybees – what types of plants are needed – and to research pollination gardens.

Barbara DiNicola
Friends of Warren School

Warren, CT

Successfully implementing an innovative and unique pollution prevention program that generates an environmental benefit.

Through the Friends of Warren School group, Barbara DiNicola has organized several recycling programs. The school is recycling yogurt containers that will be used by TerraCycle as plant food containers and ink cartridges. Barbara has involved the cafeteria manager in the recycling of yogurt containers. She has devised simple collection stations and has sent home information to parents regarding these projects. Barbara has also invited each classroom to discuss the recycling projects and their importance. Barbara involves the students and families of Warren School every step of the way, and has encouraged community participation.

Kathy Newton
2nd Grade Teacher
Warren School

Warren, CT 

Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year and promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats.

Their butterfly project continued in Second Grade at Warren School. This year's students helped to gather both egg and larval stages, and they had the added excitement of finding them right outside their back door for the very first time. They have made a concerted effort to grow and maintain milkweed plants in their butterfly garden for the last three years, and coupled that with many discussions about native and non native species, and invasive plants. Students released seven monarchs, after caring for the caterpillars, and attempted to identify other types of butterflies visiting the garden. They are continuing to maintain the garden and study, record and identify butterflies. In addition, students had a beekeeper visit them in February to discuss the unexplained demise of the honeybees. They are beginning to study the habitat necessary to sustain honeybees – what types of plants are needed – and to research pollination gardens.

Heather Nypert
3rd Grade Teacher
Warren School

Warren, CT

Implementing habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property.

The Third Grade students at Warren School studied how different plants and animals are adapted to obtain air, water, food and protection in specific land and water habitats. Students also learned how earth materials provide resources for all living things, but these resources are limited and should be conserved. Students described how materials can be conserved by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials rather than discarding them. In addition, the class went on a walk to collect trash around the school grounds.

Joanne Woodington
Warren School Student Council
Warren, CT

Sponsoring a river, beach or neighborhood clean-up day.

The Student Council of Warren School organized their schoolwide Earth Day clean-up project. Student Council members assessed their school grounds and determined which areas needed to be addressed. The student council representatives acted as group leaders meeting with individual classes, assigning areas to be cleaned, and organizing the materials needed to do the job, such as rakes, gloves, trash bags, etc. They also explained the purpose and importance of Earth Day to their assigned groups.

Alisa Wright
6th Grade Teacher
Warren School

Warren, CT

Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year.

They are extremely proud of their schoolyard community garden, Harvest Dreams. Back in the spring of 2002, their garden was created through the help of many willing and committed school, staff, and family members. For the past 6 years, the garden has continued to provide the New Milford and Torrington Soup Kitchen and Food Bank with fresh, organic vegetables harvested throughout the summer. Each class takes part in the garden's success. Sixth grade students are the stewards. They are responsible for coordinating the garden each spring, teaching, school-wide lessons and preparing hosting the Harvest Luncheon each fall. Fourth and Second graders put the garden to bed. First and Third grade students enter produce in local fair. Fifth graders provide compost. Harvest of Dreams has established itself as being a positive and important part of Warren School's culture and the sixth graders have proven themselves to be an integral part of this achievement.

Since the inception of their school garden in 2002, the families of Warren School have taken on the integral responsibility of maintaining the garden throughout the summer and transporting the harvested vegetables to area soup kitchens and food banks. It is due to this cooperative effort that their outreach garden is successful. Their Warren School community is very proud of this initiative and the positive impact it has on those less fortunate.

Christine Lauretano
Kindergarten Teacher Warren School
Warren, CT

Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year.

During Earth Day the kindergarten class invited guest speakers to help them research the benefits of new plantings and how to care for new and existing foliage within the playground area. They studied plants that are hardiest in this zone, chose their plants carefully, and gave them a new home outside their windows in the barren black top. Students will be responsible for daily watering, as well as weekly fertilization, weed maintenance, and measurement. They will also maintain the bird feeders for various species of birds and note observations about type of bird, frequency of use, and response to stimuli.

Carol Leavitt
Special Education Teacher
Warren School
Warren, CT

Donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects (e.g., projects or programs promoted by youth groups, community based organizations, businesses, or environmental entities).

Ms. Leavitt has developed and maintained a program where students run an indoor plant hospital. They have gathered a collection of ailing house plants that need attention. Children learn general plant care. They are involved in re-potting, watering, pruning and fertilizing. They adopt plants from anyone who has a plant in need of attention . The project has beautified the front hallway of their school with lush green foliage and blossoms. Healthy plants are given to those who appreciate them and agree to care for them. The children are so proud of their work, improving self esteem. This serves as service to others, and enhances appreciation of things that grow.

 
 

GreenCircle Award Recipients | GreenCircle Award Program

Content Last Updated on December 18, 2009