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Lakewood's Grant Elementary Green Team Spurs Change

The Lakewood City Schools continued to ramp up its efforts this school year to be a more eco-friendly organization. Grant Elementary is a shining example of making our staff and students aware of their environmental impacts and learning what they can do to help make a difference.

 Led by student wellness Julie May, the Grant Green Team (grades 3-5) has implemented several initiatives this school year to lead the school on a path to greater sustainability practices.

The Lakewood City Schools continued to ramp up its efforts this school year to be a more eco-friendly organization. Grant Elementary is a shining example of making our staff and students aware of their environmental impacts and learning what they can do to help make a difference.  Led by student wellness Julie May, the Grant Green Team (grades 3-5) has implemented several initiatives this school year to lead the school on a path to greater sustainability practices.

These efforts include recycling paper throughout the building and in the cafeteria, recycling GoGo Squeeze-like pouches, creating a share table for unopened and uneaten food from the school, composting (via Rust Belt Riders), and using compostable silverware and trays. All these efforts were made possible by a $2,600 grant the District received from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District as well as support from Nutrition Services.

Students play a crucial role in the green efforts. Each classroom has two student recycling steward who monitor the recycling bin daily and give weekly reports on progress. Older students have given presentations at lunch to younger students, educating them on proper recycling and composting and their impact on the Earth. This not only fosters a sense of community but also ensures the sustainability efforts are ingrained in the school culture for years to come. It also is a great opportunity for the older students to build their leadership and communication skills.
Stephanie Oliveri, the Grant cafeteria lead, has been an important member of the Green Team as she initiated composting within the cafeteria kitchen. That combined with the students’ efforts at lunch and breakfast times has resulted in Grant composting more than 3,000 pounds of food waste since March!  Grant's composting initiative aligns with broader District efforts, including composting in the high school cafeteria and Ranger Cafe. 

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