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Students empowered to become champions for waste reduction and single stream recycling

February 4, 2013 – Green Education Foundation’s (GEF) National Green Week 2013 is kicking off in Boston with students participating in sustainability lessons and activities around waste reduction and recycling. Through the extended day program offered by City Year, 322 students at the Blackstone, Hennigan, Holland, Marshall, Mattahunt, Orchard Gardens and Tobin schools will participate in Green Week lessons, activities and games to prepare them for successful single stream recycling at home and at school. The curriculum was selected by GEF and Boston Public Schools to address concepts and themes such as hands on exploration, social equity, community leadership, physical activity, creativity, literacy and math.

Boston Public Schools is implementing single stream recycling in all schools to reduce waste, save money and to ensure a healthier environment, as part of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Greenovate Boston initiative. Greenovate Boston aims to encourage sustainable behavior by Boston residents and businesses in order to meet the Mayor’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of 25 percent by 2020.

“Our partnership with City Year and the Green Education Foundation goes to the heart of Greenovate Boston,” Mayor Menino said. “We’re working to engage residents of all ages and backgrounds to understand the importance of actions like recycling, and to see that making sustainability a priority for our young people impacts the entire City of Boston in a positive way, now and in the future.”

“In the Boston Public Schools, our teachers aim to empower today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders,” said Superintendent Carol R. Johnson. “We are excited that our students are working in partnership with City Year for a cleaner, greener environment so they can share these important lessons with their classmates, parents and friends and create a sustainable city.”

The new single stream recycling program is being rolled out over the 2012-2013 school year and during Green Week (February 4th-8th), students will be prepared to become champions for recycling at their schools, at home, and in the greater Boston community. Single stream recycling means paper, glass, plastic and metal can all be recycled together. The items are then sorted at a recycling center, which makes it simpler for residents to collect recycle materials and avoids excess waste being sent to landfills.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with our partnership with City Year around National Green Week in Boston,” commented Victoria Waters, CEO at GEF. “Together, we’re able to offer a fun and engaging curriculum set for the week that will be delivered to students by City Year’s AmeriCorps members. The impact on students and their schools’ efforts around single stream recycling and the connection the kids will make to social justice issues in their community will be tremendous and long lasting.”

The students from Boston are participating in the national kickoff of Green Week, joining students from across the nation already signed up to participate between February 4 and April 30. Schools, classrooms and youth groups join Green Week, GEF’s flagship program, in an effort to spotlight sustainability education and initiatives for one week of the school year. Green Week participants select one of GEF’s six sustainability themes to focus on and have access to free lessons, activities, audits and more related to their chosen theme. To learn more about National Green Week or to sign up, visit


About Boston Public Schools

The Boston Public Schools, the birthplace of public education in the United States, serves nearly 57,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 128 schools. Today our graduation rate is at its highest level ever.

About Greenovate Boston

Greenovate Boston is a collective movement and innovative solution to ensure a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for the city by meeting Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020. Propelled by creativity and drive, Greenovate Boston will encourage continued sustainable growth within the city, making Boston the greenest in the United States. Visit for details.

About Green Education Foundation (GEF)

Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging them to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions. Become a member for free to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities at Join the sustainability education conversation by following GEF on Twitter @greenedufdn and on Facebook at

About City Year

City Year is an education-focused, nonprofit organization founded in 1988 that partners with public schools to provide full-time targeted intervention for students most at risk of dropping out. In more than 20 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, our teams of young AmeriCorps leaders support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs that keep kids in school and on track to graduate. In Boston, City Year supports more than 11,000 students in 21 schools, including 25% of students at-risk of falling behind or dropping out. To learn more, visit or

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Mahatma Gandhi