We occasionally publish “classic” articles that we feel are still relevant to readers. This article is from the Jul/Aug 2013 issue of the Green News

The School Outreach Committee meets four times per year to share ideas and promote district-wide projects around resource efficiency and green classrooms and gardens. This past year the committee focused on bringing awareness to school gardens through collaborations with Newton Community Farms and Whitson’s Food Service.

Mason Rice School garden

Mason-Rice Elementary School’s garden

Throughout the school year we saw exciting student-led green initiatives at all grade levels. At the elementary level, Franklin School initiated a host of new efforts including improved recycling, composting, a new garden, and green iMovies. Mason-Rice and Countryside each planted new school gardens. At Burr, the 5th grade green team picked up from Mason-Rice’s idea and researched the life-cycle of crayons, educated the student body, planned and implemented a crazy crayon recycling program.

Within middle and high-school, we saw the green continuum in action through Students for a Greener World and their efforts at Newton South HS to bring textile recycling bins to the City of Newton. In addition, the Greengineers at Newton North continued their leadership through a Green Campus Long-term Strategic Plan, starting with a vertical vegetable garden.

These are examples of projects that students have participated in. Other projects over time have included Zero Waste Days, Green Wednesdays, Catalog Reduction Challenge, Energy Teams, Terracycle Juice Pouch Recycling, recycling at PTO events, fundraising, outdoor learning environments, green artists, a green fashion show, and the annual Green Decade Art Contests.

The new school year promises to be equally exciting. We will be kicking off a city-wide catalog reduction challenge in the Fall. If you are a student, teacher, parent or community member and would like to participate

in student-led green initiatives at your school, please contact Eric Bobby at ericpbobby@hotmail.com for more information. Through these student-led and teacher- enabled projects, the City of Newton should know that future leaders in sustainability are developing right here in our community. Please help and be a part of it.

by Eric Bobby, Chair Green Decade School Outreach