During the 2008/2009 school year, Woolridge Elementary School committed to “Go Green Woolridge”. The Environmental Leadership of teachers, Ms. Pinkston, Ms. Fisher and Ms. McKissick along with active parents planned a variety of activities.
Due to the overwhelming interest in the Environmental Club last year, this year each teacher picked a few class representatives to attend the environmental meetings throughout the year. At these meetings, the representatives collected materials and information to take back to the classroom. Each classroom also had a Parent Environmental Coordinator. We also had several activities that the entire school participated. The following is a summary of our activities.
The class representatives attended each meeting and then took the information back to the classroom so all of the students could learn about the environment.
- Students learned how fresh plants improve the quality of air in the classroom. Parent representatives provided the plant for the class and students were responsible for taking care of it throughout the year.
- A representative from the Central Virginia Waste Management Association came to a meeting to talk to the students about curbside recycling. This was a kick off to get the entire school to participate in a school-wide curbside recycling pledge drive sponsored by CVWMA. We had over 250 families pledge to recycle at home! Every student that participated in the pledge drive had a leaf with their name on it put on a tree in the cafeteria.
- Students met to discuss how the classrooms could help the environment during Earth Day week and the students made a “lights out” craft.
WES pays for a recycling contract to recycle paper, cardboard, and plastics. This contract is paid for with PTA funds. Each classroom has a recycle bin that is emptied regularly into the large outdoor recycle bin by either the parent representative or the students. A recycling program for the school's cafeteria was also started.
We also recycle batteries (over 110 pounds recycled) and printer cartridges. We also recycled hundreds of juice bags through Terracycle’s recycling program and 2,000 glue sticks through Elmer’s glue stick recycling program. At the end of the year, we recycled 2 huge boxes of crayons to use in the Kindergarten classes and to give to our sister school, Beulah Elementary.
Earth Day (April 21) was a huge success with over 300 students and teachers wearing a Go Green Woolridge t-shirt or green on Earth Day. The classrooms participated in an Earth Day poster contest. The K-2 students talked daily regarding earth-friendly activities that they were engaging in at home. The 3rd to 5th grade students made brief morning announcements regarding environmental topics that included a green fact of the day. All the students had the opportunity to watch Dr. Suess' The Lorax movie.
Another great event, though not initiated by the Go Green Team, was the 2009 Summer Safety Day on June 8, 2009. This was a way to get students to be more physically active and staying with the CCPS safe schools initiative. All students were encouraged to walk or ride their bike to school that day and crossing guards were from the Chesterfield Police Department. During the day, the students were instructed on various topics such as bicycle safety, pedestrian safety, swimming, and sun safety.
Finally, the entire Go Green year was documented and shared with parents, teachers and students on the new Woolridge Go Green blog.