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La Costa Heights Elementary School
Carlbad, California
Green in Action Award Winners

Sue Andrew’s Second Grade Class in Carlbad, California has had a "green" year.

This year my second grade class has made it their mission to put “green” values into action everyday reports Sue Andrew.  Our hard work has proved valuable in the classrooms, as many academic lessons are inspired by our green work. Here is a list of our green programs and a brief description of each:

Litter Patrol – We have been learning about storm waster run-off in our class and the harmful effects to marine wildlife.  Because our school is only a few miles from the beach, this issue really struck home with our students.  We decided to create a large wall mural using trash that was collected on our campus to educate our whole school. We hung this mural in our media center so it is visible to all when they walk into our school. To combat this problem, our class raised money to purchase trash grabbers that we loan to our fellow schoolmates.  We schedule time with other classes, give them an instruction on how to properly use the grabbers and then we keep track of how much waste we collect and report it to everyone.

No Trash Tuesday -We have also created a Zero Waste Lunch Program at our school. We call this program No Trash Tuesday. My students first wrote persuasive speeches in class that explained the need for and details of the program. We visited all the other classrooms and educated our fellow schoolmates on how to pack a zero waste lunch. We made posters to remind the students what a Zero Waste Lunch looks like and hung them all around campus.

Lunch Time Recycling -With money awarded to me from our Parent Teacher Association, we had a lunch recycling cart built. My students painted the cart and at an assembly presented the cart to the school with instructions on how to properly recycle their trash at lunch time. We have reduced our lunch time waste by 40 percent.

Vermicomposting - As part of my service learning program, I taught my second graders how to build small worm composting bins out of recycled materials.  The worms eat our food scraps and then produce worm manure for our garden. We began with one small bin for our classroom.  Eventually, we created a podcast so other classes could replicate this experiment at any time.  We taught a Girl Scout Troop at our school about worm composting and they raised money to have a huge composting bin built for our entire school. Now we can compost our lunch time food scraps and further cut down school waste.   We will soon begin to roll out  this project to other schools in our district.

Earth Poetry- We are writing a series of poems about the earth and activism. The students will publish their work and share it with their fellow classmates and the community.