With its roots in a student- and parent-led goal of reducing trash and composting green waste, Alameda Unified School District's Green Schools challenge won CSBA's Going Green! Golden Bell, along with the accompanying $5000 prize, sponsored by F3.
Working with principals, teachers, custodians, parents, students, and the local waste managment company, a team of volunteers set up a pilot program in 2009 to divert food scraps from trash cans to composting bins. Within six months, the pilot sites had increased their recycling and composting rate from an average of 30% to 64%. Within three years, the program expanded to all elementary, middle, and high schools in the district. Each school has a "Green Team", comprised of a principal, teacher liaison, custodian, and at least one parent volunteer. Program volunteers created lesson plans, including books, videos and other visuals for every elementary grade, all with the goal of creating a consistent and sustainable program across the school district.
"This project affirms our firm's support for public education and for investing in strong, healthy communities," said Jan Tomsky, managing partner of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost. "We are pleased to once again recognize the outstanding work of an education community in preparing students to be good stewards of our environment and their futures."
To get more information about the Golden Bell Awards, including eligibility criteria and timeline for judging, see the CSBA web site.