Be the Change Team

Be the Change: Year Two

School: Erma Stephenson Elementary

Votes Received: 18

Initiating change is the first important step to making our world a better place, but maintaining change is the key to success. While we continue to face problems and challenges, our school is experiencing success. We can all strive to "be the change" but we must learn to "live the change" in a sustainable way. Last year our school's main goal was addressing land pollution through waste reduction strategies. This year, while we wanted to continue addressing land pollution, we added the goals of addressing air and water pollution. Again, we had the H2O Team implement online surveys which measured changes in our students' environmental attitudes and behaviors. This survey provided important feedback as it highlighted areas we need to grow in, which is why we started a clean air campaign. Our team decided that it was important to build on our projects started last year, by maintaining our 'Litterless Lunch' campaign, Litter Pick Up Weeks, our recycling and composting program, in addition to continuing to raise awareness about these issues through assemblies and newsletters. On Earth Day last year, 500 students in our school spelled out "Be the Change" with their bodies on a field, which was shown on Global TV. In addition, we have started using technology in ways that reduce waste. For example, we started emailing notices to parents instead of sending home paper copies. By reducing font size, we are using half the paper needed for Hot Lunch order forms. We added a third box in classrooms for paper which can be re-used. This past year, to address air and water pollution, we made movies and used the medium of fine arts to raise awareness about both of these issues. We started a 'Walk to School Wednesday' campaign at our school, and measured a significant reduction in students who were being driven to school. We held fundraisers for clean water projects in Haiti and Africa like Candygrams and coin drives. Our school sold stainless steel water bottles. Our school is committed to maintaining and sustaining the change that we have created in this past year, in addition to always looking for new ways to grow and expand our ideas and strategies. The result is that our school community is steadily experiencing a change in attitudes and behaviors. We will continue to strive to be the change we wish to see in this world.

Mentors Consulted

Check Your Head
Clean Air Champions
Green Street


Sustainable Development
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