Great Year for Greenpoint Eco-Schools
As 2016 comes to a close, the teams of Brooklyn’s four Greenpoint Eco-Schools are celebrating a year of great progress! The dedicated team of Sustainability Coaches across PS 31, PS 34, PS 110, and MS 126 are making their schools’ curricula, culture, and infrastructure environmentally-focused, applying a wealth of creativity and passion to improving the schools’ communities.
The heart of the Greenpoint Eco-Schools program is student leadership and service learning; by cultivating environmental responsibility and engaging in local experiences, students understand that they have the ability to make a difference, at home and in their communities.
Let’s look back at a few of the year’s successes:
PS 34’s Sustainability Coach Tina Wong shares how the school’s adoption of Green STEM principles and willingness to create new, hands-on projects for the school community is providing benefits for both students and the environment:
During the 2015-2016 school year, 4th and 5th graders competed to redesign the school’s front yard garden space. Student teams spent 9 weeks researching, conceptualizing, and then designing the garden. Six semi-finalist were then selected, one from each class; from that, a panel of judges chose the final 2 winning teams – their design was built in June of 2016 as a Legacy Project funded by the Greenpoint Eco-Schools Program, and in partnership with TreesNY and Starr Whitehouse – Landscape Architects and Planners.
The work was expanded this year to redesign an indoor learning space to expand the Green STEM learning process. Find out more from Tina about the progress, and this year’s new environmental project.
The improvements to PS 34’s learning spaces are not the only great green news coming from the Greenpoint team!
Sustainability Coach Alison Schuettinger of PS 31 shares how the Waste Warriors of PS 31 are taking charge of getting Greenpoint to zero-waste future:
Waste Warriors are students who stand behind the bins at the cafeteria’s waste disposal station to assist students as they sort landfill and recycle waste during breakfast and lunch. PS 31’s student leaders are enthusiastic, dedicated and pay attention to every detail! Even after their long summer break, Waste Warriors remembered all the specifics to properly sort recyclables: food scraps go in the brown organics bin, soft plastic goes in the landfill bin, milk cartons go in the metal/plastic/carton bin.
Christian, a Waste Warrior and Green Team member remarks, “This job is really cool but also kind of gross.” He laughs as ketchup barely misses his sleeve, “But it’s okay because you’re helping to save the world.”
The Sustainability Coaches aren’t the only ones excited about the changes that have been taking place. PS 110 5th grader Louise Oppenheimer shares some of her favorite things about working with Coach Fran Agnone:
So many things have changed for the better. Every student and teacher has been taught to their full extent about everything they need to know about going green. We now, thanks to Ms. Agnone, have an afterschool STEAM program (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) where any student can learn about pretty much everything. She has always supported everybody’s ideas and has come up with many of her own.
We are looking forward to seeing great successes continue across Greenpoint in 2017!