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2015 National Grid Spotlight Award
Downstate New York Winner: MS582, Brooklyn

Currently our school has a sustainability coordinator, Ms. Naisha Baidy, who has helped organize our green efforts. Students are allowed to volunteer to be on the school’s Green Team. The Green Team then set goals for energy conservation, recycling, ecology, and a school-wide green curriculum. Our school’s current practices are as follows:

Who the MS582 green team is:


  • We are diverse students who make up the sustainability team of MS582.
  • We are concerned about our environment. 
  • We are per educators in energy conservation, recycling, litter and ecology awareness and responsibility.


  • We do inventory of the energy conservation and recycling practices at MS582.
  • We educate students and staff about the purpose and procedures of energy conservation and recycling at MS582. 
  • We act on energy conservation and recycling by providing recourses and material to the MS582 community.


  • Our school motto is “Make What You Believe In, Happen”


To date, for energy conservation, the Green Team has established a “flip the switch” campaign for conserving energy within the classrooms. We have also made sure that no additional appliances are used in the classrooms; instead there is one central location for food prep appliances. For recycling, we have done a full inventory of the twenty classrooms, four offices, the cafeteria, and the building entrance to gather data on who is recycling what and who is not. We also took count and noted what recycling containers were available and how easy or difficult is it for everyone to recycle. We then analyzed this information and found most classrooms needed recycling bins. We went to the custodian and retrieved more recycling bins and stocked the classrooms. Outside of each classroom and office is a report card. Each week we do inventory during advisory and give them a grade of “A, B” or “C depending on how well they are recycling materials into the right bins for paper, plastics/cans, or trash only. We went above and beyond by asking the NYC Department of Sanitation sustainability representative to visit our school and do a walk through to actually show us what we are doing wrong so we can correct it. It was a little painful to hear but really helpful. Since then, each member of the Green Team presented a skit to educate on the importance of energy conservation and recycling and hand out some giveaways.


To kick off our National Green Week at MS582, Ms. Jeffcoat the Librarian at MS582 read "The Garden of Happiness" to all of the students during their library time and advisory.  All of the advisory classes then designed a picture that is to be painted on a tile and placed in our newly planted garden, and the staff painted their own tiles during a professional development day. MS582 students will also write their own poems about gardens, happiness, etc., that will go on our 'Poe-tree' wall as a contribution to our own  “Garden of Happiness” at MS582. All of these efforts were coordinated by Ms. Monica Buono in collaboration with the New York Cares and Veteran’s Corp. Volunteers, to support MS582’s Green Team “Garden of Happiness” school garden renewal project. The Green Team proposed a garden design that was approved by our principal, Brian Walsh. Once the design was approved the Green Team began to work diligently in the garden make their dream come true. On April 25, 2015, MS582, along with the NY Cares and veteran volunteers will beautify the community with our new garden designed by the Green Team students.

If we win this contest, the proceeds with go towards seating and landscaping materials within the garden to enable educational use by teachers with their classes and community members . The purpose of this garden is to beautify the community, provide service learning opportunities, strategically enhance community spirit, reduce air pollution and promote health and wellness.