For Immediate Release - June 23, 2014

State Officials Honor Schools, Classes Across the Commonwealth with 2013-14 Environmental 'Green Team' Awards

Environmental Stewardship Educational Activities Deserving of Recognition

BOSTON - Students in 78 classes from 67 schools across the Commonwealth received special recognition for their outstanding environmental actions as members of the "Green Team," a statewide environmental education program promoted by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

Students of any age can participate in the Green Team program, an initiative comprised of students who share the goals of reducing pollution and protecting the environment. Nearly 60,000 students in more than 280 classes at 234 schools joined the Green Team this school year.

"Participation in the Green Team provides students awareness of environmental issues like recycling and sustainability," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Environmental awareness gives students a leg up to compete in an economy where responsible stewardship of the planet is increasingly important due to the effects of climate change."   

Students took part in a range of activities, including:

  • expanding school recycling programs,
  • starting a compost pile using organic waste from the school cafeteria, and using the compost it generates to nourish a garden to grow vegetables,
  • making their school driveways "Idle-Free Zones," and
  • increasing energy efficiency in their schools and communities.

These activities incorporated class-room disciplines from the fields of science, engineering and mathematics to reading, writing and art, as well as other non-classroom, inter-related project. 

"The environmental leaders of tomorrow are forged in the classrooms of today," said EEA Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. "Some of these students may continue their education in environmental issues, but all of them can take these lessons forward as consumers or as active participants in community activities." 

Participating classes were entered into a drawing for prizes, and 78 classes received prizes for their efforts (full listing below). Nineteen schools won grand prizes, and will receive school-wide performances by environmental educators Jack Golden, Peter O'Malley and Earthtunes, or gift cards to local garden centers for trees or garden supplies to further "green" their schools. 

"Students are not the future of the environmental movement, they are the now," said MassDEP Commissioner David W. Cash. "I applaud their creativity and passion, and their desire to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their schools, communities and everyday lives. We also honor their teachers, who know the value of critical thinking and what it means to be an engaged citizen.  Having one of the hardest jobs in our society, every day these teachers wake up knowing that what they do has such a big impact on today and the future." 

Participating teachers also received a Green Team Kit containing classroom posters, lesson plans, recycling tips and access to a library of other resources. In addition, 43 schools received recycling equipment from the Green Team to initiate or expand school recycling programs. Thirteen schools received signs reading "Idle-Free Zone" from the Green Team that serve as a visual reminder to drivers to turn off their engines while waiting in the schoolyard.

Students at Beebe Elementary School in Malden created posters for proper waste disposal and the importance of keeping water clean, improved the school recycling program and turned an empty lot into a garden. Teacher Michelle Corbett said, "It is always beneficial for students to get involved in the world around them! Through the various activities students learn not to take our planet and its resources for granted."

At Carlisle Public School, teacher Barbara Arnold calculated that the school's trash output has been cut by 40 percent since January, and they now have a single-stream recycling program. To achieve this, students created a "how-to" film and promotional video, made posters, led an assembly on single-stream recycling and set up recycling bins in all the classrooms and offices with informational signs.

Even very young students were able to make an impact by participating in Green Team activities. A kindergarten class at Federal Furnace Elementary School in Plymouth started a recycling program for the entire school, and wrote a recycling promise for each classroom to sign. "They learned that their words and ideas can really make a difference," said teacher Angela Magnarelli. Students will also learn the benefits of planting and growing their own food, as they are planning a garden that will grow vegetables to be eaten during snack time.

At the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin, students ran a successful campaign to collect funding for a school greenhouse. The greenhouse, which will be a valuable addition to the school's garden, will also help support a local food pantry. 

Capt. Samuel Brown School in Peabody was the second-place winner of the Keep America Beautiful Recycle Bowl. Their student team wrote and performed skits for the school to raise awareness about recycling challenges, and pledged to increase outdoor learning and create meaningful lessons in nature. "Going outdoors for lessons and quietly observing nature teaches respect for small wonders," noted teacher Diane Bugler. In addition, a parent "Green Team" was formed to further involve families.

More than 500 students at Lt. Job Lane Elementary School in Bedford participated in Green Team activities, including replacing disposable with reusable water bottles, and raising enough money to purchase and plant blueberry bushes outside the school.

At Harwich Elementary School, students converted egg cups into pots, produced laminated recycling instruction cards to be put up around the school, and won a National Youth Gardening Grant for $1,500 in garden supplies. They are using this grant to install raised landscape beds and expand their vegetable garden.

"Our class is benefiting from the activities we have completed, because the students are not only learning how to be good environmental citizens, they are working together to accomplish a common goal," said teacher Paula Duhon of students at Lee Elementary School. Her class not only planted a garden, but also created skits about idling reduction to educate the entire school.

Students, faculty, staff and parents all got involved at Roger E. Wellington Elementary School in Belmont. Students obtained recycling bins for each classroom, the PTO created labels for them, and custodians ensured that the recyclable materials were collected weekly by the town. The school also participated in the Green Cup Energy Challenge, and won second place by turning off lights, unplugging electronic devices, and finding other ways reduce energy usage. "We saved over $1,800 on our energy bill," noted Asst. Principal Sarah Forrey-Pettit. "We feel that if we could continue to save this kind of money, we could use it toward other educationally relevant initiatives." Teacher Gwen Irish added, "We got into the habit of always turning off the lights when we left the room."

Students at Joseph G. Luther Elementary School in Swansea created T-shirts to spread the word about "being green." The school has three days each year where students wear these shirts and the community has noticed; there was an article in the newspaper about what they had done. The students are also caring for plants they planted. "The plants will be a gift for a family member in the near future," said teacher Lindsay Poirier. "The students are enjoying taking responsibility for living things. They are eager to share their gift with a loved one very soon."

Nearly 5,000 students pledged to reduce, reuse, recycle; walk, bike, carpool or take public transportation; and conserve energy and water to help protect the environment. Many of the students encouraged their parents to take an idling-reduction pledge and turn off car engines while parked or waiting. Other students tracked the trash generated in their home for one month, subtracting the amount of trash their family eliminated via recycling. In addition, activities included improving school recycling or composting programs, conserving energy at school, visiting recycling facilities, meeting with municipal officials, planting school gardens, seeking alternatives to Styrofoam lunch trays, building water-powered fuel cell kit cars, and creating signs, posters, videos and web pages to raise environmental awareness in their school community.

All participating classes received Certificates of Recognition, "Trash Terminator" bookmarks or grand prizes such as a show by Jack Golden, entitled "Garbage is My Bag"; a recycling and conservation show by Peter O'Malley; an environmental concert by Earthtunes; or gift cards to a nearby garden center for plants or school gardening supplies. Other Green Team prizes included Green Team wrist bands, biodegradable corn resin and recycled tire key rings, information wheels, "Compost Matters" activity books, and pencils made from recycled denim or currency.

To learn more or to participate in The Green Team program next school year, teachers may signup on-line at: www.thegreenteam.org

The list of 2013-14 Green Team winners: 
(listed by school name, community, teacher, grade and prize

The Grand Prize Winners

Lt. Job Lane Elementary School
Bedford
Jean Mickle
3-5
Garden Supplies

Roger E. Wellington Elementary School
Belmont
Sarah Forrey-Pettit;
Gwen Irish
PreK-4
2
Earthtunes Concert

Carlisle Public Schools
Carlisle
Barney Arnold
PreK-8
Recycling Show

Patrick E. Bowe School
Chicopee
Harry Brandt
K-5
Recycling Show

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical
High School
Franklin
Nancy Sibilia
9-12
Garden Supplies

North Street Elementary School
Grafton
Frank Sutton
2-6
Garden Supplies

Harwich Elementary School
Harwich
Kelly Heffernan
K-4
Earthtunes Concert

Lillian Jacobs School
Hull
Nicole Palermo Cristaldi
K-5
Garden Supplies

Lee Elementary School
Lee
Paula Duhon
6
Garden Supplies

Sullivan Middle School
Lowell
Meaghan Keefe
5-8
Recycling Show

Beebe School
Malden
Michelle Corbett
K-8
Garden Supplies

Manchester Essex Regional School
Manchester
Eric Magers
K-12
Garden Supplies

Fowler School
Maynard
Deb Roussell
6-7
Garden Supplies

Captain Samuel Brown School
Peabody
Diane Bugler
K-5
Garden Supplies

Federal Furnace Elementary School
Plymouth
Angela Magnarelli
K-5
Garden Supplies

Floral Street School
Shrewsbury
Missy Hollenback
1-4
Recycling Show

Joseph G. Luther Elementary School
Swansea
Lindsay Poirier
3
Recycling Show

Marguerite E. Small Elementary School
West Yarmouth
Audrey Lee
PreK-3
Recycling Show

Lincoln Elementary School
Winchester
Lisa Cormier
K-5
Earthtunes
Concert

Green Team Winners

The Victor School
Acton
Stephen Zwink
8-12
Information Wheels

Roberta G. Doering School
Agawam
Kathy Goyette-Jediny
6
Information Wheels

Dallin School
Arlington
Charlotte Milan
2-5
Wristbands

Stetson School
Barre
Kevin Snyder
9-12
Information Wheels

Swift River Elementary School
Belchertown
Cindy Fournier
1-2
Wristbands

Centerville Elementary School
Beverly
Kris Melanson
4-5
Information Wheels

Hannah Elementary School
Beverly
Tanya O'Malley
5
Wristbands

Edward M. Kennedy Academy For Health Careers
Boston
Angela Cappucci
9-10
Wristbands

Bridgewater - Raynham Regional High
School
Bridgewater
Jessica Lazarus
9-12
Recycled Tire Key Rings

Bridgewater Middle School
Bridgewater
Daniel Hamn
7-8
Wristbands

Our Lady of Victory
Centerville
Theresa Brosnan
1-10
Wristbands

Selser Memorial School
Chicopee
Kristin Pisano
K-5
Wristbands

Cohasset High School
Cohasset
Carolyn Connolly
12
Information Wheels

St. Mary Of The Annunciation School
Danvers
Stacy Drector
PreK-8
Wristbands

Boston Latin Academy
Dorchester
Kara Stafford
11-12
Recycled Tire Key Rings

Brookside Elementary School
Dracut
Denise Porcello
2
Wristbands

North Central Charter Essential School
Fitchburg
Anna Cynar
7-12
Wristbands

Harwich Elementary School
Harwich
Anne D'Urso
1
Pencils  

Harwich Elementary School
Harwich
Margaret Shaffer
2
Pencils

Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School
Haverhill
Ted Becker
8
Wristbands

Hingham High School
Hingham
Richard Swanson
9-12
Wristbands

Hopedale Memorial School
Hopedale
Jane LeClaire
5
Pencils

Hopkinton Middle School
Hopkinton
Michael Siedlecki
6-8
Wristbands

Gateway Regional High School
Huntington
Lyn Avery
5-12
Wristbands

Barnstable Intermediate School
Hyannis
Heidi Bernhardt
6-7
Wristbands

Dr. An Wang Middle School
Lowell
Dawn Theberge
7
Wristbands

Lowell High School
Lowell
Rose Bowie
10-12
Wristbands
 

St. Patrick School and Education Center
Lowell
Margie O'Donnell
PreK
Wristbands
 

Washington Elementary School
Lowell
Cheryl Cunningham
4
Wristbands
 

Helen R. Donaghue School
Merrimac
Susan Simmons
4
Wristbands
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Bridget Bettencourt
9-12
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Chelsey Fortier
7-12
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Fatima Diaz
11-12
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Gary Placek
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Kristine Bettencourt
10-12
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Lynda Slocomb
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Michelle Jodrey
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Pam Marcotte
3-12
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Rebecca Philips
5-12
Information
Wheels
 

Evergreen Center
Milford
Sheryl McGrath
10-12
Information
Wheels
 

Greater New Bedford  Vocational Tech.
High School
New Bedford
Christopher Pires
& Larry Carlesi
9-12
Recycled Tire Key
Rings
 

Northampton High School
Northampton
Ellen Hirschberg
9-12
Information
Wheels
 

Norwell Middle School
Norwell
Christina Bailey
6-8
Wristbands
 

South Memorial Elementary School
Peabody
Jerilee Gray
K-5
Wristbands
 

Thomas Prince School
Princeton
Corey Burnham-Howard
K-8
Wristbands
 

Snug Harbor Community School
Quincy
Joyce Wells
4-5
Information
Wheels
 

Hatherly Elementary School
Scituate
Jill Suddath
5-6
Information
Wheels
 

Mount Everett Regional High School
Sheffield
Danielle Melino
9-12
Wristbands
 

Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School
Shelburne Falls
Karen Eldred
PreK
Wristbands
 

Sherwood Middle School
Shrewsbury
Carol Virzi
5-6
Wristbands
 

Joseph Case Junior High School
Swansea
Jessica Sanchez
8
Wristbands
 

Dana Hall School
Wellesley
Catherine Buttner
6-8
Recycled Tire Key
Rings
 

North Middle School
Westfield
Michael Dulaski
7
Recycled Tire Key
Rings
 

Weston High School
Weston
Janet Kresl Moffat
9-12
Corn Resin Key
Rings
 

Lynch Elementary School
Winchester
Fritzie Nace
K-5
Wristbands
 

Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School
Worcester
Judith Luber-Narod
9-12
Wristbands &
Corn Resin Key
Rings
 

Alhuda Academy
Worcester
Badiaa Begag
2
Compost Activity
Books
 

Tatnuck Magnet School
Worcester
Mark Tozer
K, 6
Information
Wheels

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