The Green Elementary School

The kids at Cedar Park Elementary School in Apple Valley are teaching each other, school administrators and their families how to save resources and money through a new school program that uses Math, English, Science and Art to improve the environment. This program is the brainchild of an enthusiastic teacher, Monica Foss and school principle, Marge Grueness.


Reduce resource use - The kids came up with a paper towel audit for the bathrooms and created posters to encourage the use of no more than 1-2 paper towels. They also sent a letter around to all of the classes encouraging lights to be turned out in classrooms when not in use and only turning half the lights on during sunny days.

Make things from previously used items - One student designed and made a mascot from recycled boxes, tubes and wire. Other students made a brightly colored mural from free recycled paint found at the county. Another art project was making toys from recycled phone wire to demonstrate that homemade toys made from unusual things can be just as fun to play with as store purchased plastic toys.

Know how to sort garbage - The students started a lunch garbage separating project where they sort compostables, recylables and garbage headed for the landfill. Worm bins will be used in each classroom for snack time left-overs encouraging kids to bring healthy snacks that the worms will eat!

Recycle cell phones - Fifth grader, Dante was so amazed by how many cell phones end up in the landfill that he came up with a campaign to raise awareness about cell phone recycling.

Buy bulk foods - Another fifth grader, Jesse started counting ketchup and mustard individual packets and completed a math project that proves the school would save money if they went to bulk condiments.

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