Members of the James Caldwell High School and Grover Cleveland Middle School Environmental Protection Clubs are working together to educate their peers on global climate change, and pledging to make a difference. Pictured are (from left) front row: Michelle Polone and Rachel Gooney, second row: Kara Nancoz, high school club vice president Lora Krasteva, Will McNamara, Patrick Nancoz, Nick Zenobi, and Jean Baptiste Mollett, and third row: high school club president Malek Ismail, Ellie Newcombe, Peter Thomann, Austin Muller, Eric Urban, and Brett Francis Credits: Christine Corliss
James Caldwell High School and Grover Cleveland Middle School Students Work Together to Educate Others About Climate Change
Monday, March 11, 2013 • 11:17pm
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - What do you get when you collect nearly 500 bottle caps, 1000 pledge cards, and two environmental clubs working together? A greener school district! Students from James Caldwell High School, West Caldwell, and Grover Cleveland Middle School, Caldwell, have been working together this year, educating fellow students, teachers and others on how to reduce their impact on the environment and global climate change.
Following several annual clean-up activities at the high school courtyard last fall, 14 members of the school's environmental protection clubs (EPC) attended the Teen Summit on Climate Change on Thursday, December 6, at the Rutgers Cook College campus. The students worked with Rutgers University scientists to learn about climate change science and to develop community service projects that apply their climate change knowledge in their local communities.
On January 14, at the monthly Board of Education meeting, the environmental groups came together once again, illustrating what they learned and proposing ways to make our schools greener. The students presented suggestions for students, parents and staff, including reusable water bottles, recycling bottle caps, and riding bicycles to school.
And, these young students have continued their efforts. On January 30, the high school EPC hosted the Alliance for Climate Education, making a forty-minute multimedia presentation to fellow students, educating their peers about the human impact on global climate change and inspiring them to take action. Following the presentation, students filled out “Do One Thing” pledge cards, promising to do something “green.” Pledge examples included recycling, biking and carpooling to school, and using reusable water bottles.
Both schools already have many green programs in place, including water, can, paper and cardboard recycling. The GCMS EPC worked with school administrators and staff to host a bottle cap collection competition throughout the month of February, collecting the tops of water and other plastic bottles for recycling.
“Containers were placed throughout the lunch room, making it easier for students to recycle the caps,” said GCMS EPC advisor and seventh-grade Life Science teacher Jane Kinkle. “Many people don’t realize that the caps must be recycled separately from the bottles.”
The collection was a success, collecting nearly 5000 bottle caps, and instilling in students the need to recycle. The containers will remain in the lunchrooms for continued recycling efforts.
At the high school level, the EPC club hosted its first-ever “Swaptacular” event in December. “Students brought in unwanted items, including jewelry, music, books, and clothing, and swapped those items for other items available,” said club advisor and Biology and Environmental Science teacher Karen Browne. “Any leftover items were donated to charity.”
The event was such a success that the club is hosting another event on Tuesday, March 12, and plans to hold more swaps in the future.
From left, front row: Michelle Polone, Rachel Gooney
Second row: Kara Nancoz, high school club vice president Lora Krasteva, Will McNamara, Patrick Nancoz, Nick Zenobi, Jean Baptiste Mollett
Third row: high school club president Malek Ismail, Ellie Newcombe, Peter Thomann, Austin Muller, Eric Urban, Brett Francis
For further information:
Grover Cleveland Middle School
36 Academy Road
Caldwell, NJ 07006
James Caldwell High School
265 Westville Avenue
West Caldwell, NJ