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National Green Week 2009 Winner 
Mexicayotl Academy - Best Green Project 
Nogales, AZ

During National Green Week, Mexicayotl Academy planted 80 cottonwood and willow dormant poles along the Santa Cruz river. These poles will root and grow into trees this Spring and help stabilize bank erosion. 

Additionally, Mexicayotl Academy students from the 6th, 7th and 8th grades purchased their own plastic plates and began using and washing these, instead of using and discarding the Styrofoam trays normally supplied for the daily school lunches. The 30 students prevented 30 Styrofoam trays per day from going to the local landfill. Since five of the aforementioned trays weighed 4.25 ounces, a total of 25.5 ounces of Styrofoam are "saved" per day. This equates to 127.5 ounces (7.9 pounds) per week, or 118.5 pounds for the rest of the school year. Mexicayotl Academy students from 6th, 7th and 8th grades have also started a recycling program for aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and various paper products. 

For National Green Week, lead by the Mexicayotl Academy Danza Azteca group, all grade students from Mexicayotl Academy (K-8) paraded through downtown Nogales displaying environmental signs and chanting environmental cheers. After arriving back at the school campus, all the students and other participants joined the Danza Azteca group in the traditional Aztec dances, and then made on-stage environmental presentations to parents and invited guests. During National Green Week the 2nd and 3rd grade students focused on the theme “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” which taught students the importance of preserving the planet and its resources so that future generations can live in a clean, healthy environment.  The 4th and 5th grade students focused on photosynthesis, food chains, natural and human resources, and social responsibility in caring for our environment, like using “green” bags which involves cutting down on plastic. In addition they read “The Great Kapok Tree” by Lynne Cherry, a story about a man who is sent to chop down a tree in the Amazon forest and its animal company begging him to spare their home.  Also, the 4th- 8th grade students, along with the Gardening Club, will plant trees at Santa Fe Ranch, in Rio Rico AZ. Also for their celebration of Carnaval or Mardi Gras, the theme was "Go Green." They paraded on the street by Mexicayotl Academy promoting awareness of the importance of recycling.