October 1, 2008

Bernalillo Schools Get Green Bug

By Journal Staff Report

Bernalillo Public Schools is going green. One school recently won a grant to help with its efforts t o r e c yc le and another c r e at e d a committee of students to

educate schoolmates on ways they can protect the environment. At Bernalillo Middle School, librarian Frances Chavez was awarded a $10,000 grant as part of the school's A+ Energy Program

named "We Can Reuse, Recycle and Reduce." Her goal was to establish a recycling program at the school. Her program involves getting the entire school involved -- teachers, students, support staff, cafeteria workers and custodians. The core of the program is recycling what's used at the school throughout the day.

According to a district news release, teachers have noted a decrease in trash placed in their trash cans and custodians have seen more items placed in recycling bins throughout the school.

The school recycles white and colored paper, newspapers, junk mail, catalogs, plastic, aluminum cans and cardboard.

A portion of the grant money will go toward educating students about maintaining the earth's environment.

Students in the school's MESA program make up BMS' recycling team. They help collect, sort and drop off the recycling materials each week. The students are Melissa Estrada, Aileen Alvarado, Destiny Archibeque, Catherine Suazo, Luis Tena, Philip Hurley, Keegan Fisher-Ives, Jennifer Garner and Arthur Hurley.

Meanwhile, f i fth-g rade students at Carroll Elementary have formed their own "Green Team" to help kick off a recycling program for their school. The program is under the direction of Jeanne Howell as part of her integrated arts program. The Green Team students will educate their peers on the importance of conservation. They will use art pieces, dramatic performances and singing to drive home their point.

Superintendent Barbara Vigil-Lowder said in the news release that she's happy to see schools engaging students and their families in an effort to protect the environment.

"The work of the Green Team at Carroll Elementary is an important activity not just for our school, but for the whole community," said Keith Cowan, principal of Carroll, in a news release.

"The students will experience being leaders both within their school and their larger community."

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