In 2013-2014, the Go Green initiative for waste reduction, recycling and composting skills builds on earlier grant activities. The students taught family and community members about recycling, reaching a total of 731 people. The students also created art out of recycled materials. The school integrated these concepts into the STEM curriculum for students in grades 5/6 and grades 7/8.
In addition, the students made a bicycle-powered float out of reused or recycled materials. The Chili Cookoff was made green using compostable products, and waste was reduced from 75 pounds in 2012 to 43 pounds in 2013. The students also hosted a Fix It Clinic in conjunction with Macalester Groveland Community Council.
In 2012-2013, students conducted research on topics that are relevant to themselves as girls and as members of specific cultural or economic groups. They school also engaged the girls in practical activities to solve problems using recycled materials.
In 2011-2012, their goal was to provide interdisciplinary education for 200 girls and their families in grades 5-8 about the benefits of waste reduction, toxicity reduction, and composting. Teachers wrote lesson plans to integrate the topics into interdisciplinary units, utilizing community resources such as the Rethink Recycling website and presenters, as well as community education event(s). At the fall Parent Teacher Conferences, students shared pre-surveys with LJA families. This data was used to focus classroom lessons and student-led information sessions about the knowledge of and behaviors related to recycling, composting and waste reduction. Waste reduction materials were placed on display and pamphlets were shared with families to introduce the quarterly lessons/topics with families.
In January, LJA 5th and 6th grade scholars traveled around their home communities (door-to-door) and shared information about waste reduction, composting, and recycling. They interviewed their neighbors, talked with them about ways to reduce their carbon foot print and helped them create ways to change daily behaviors to enhance the quality of our environment. A field trip to Audubon helped the girls learn more about waste reduction and composting.
Several girls chose to volunteer their time and talk with people who visited LJA's Farmers Market about backyard composting and waste reduction. They provided student-created hand-outs and spoke with individuals one on one about these issues and helped them set individual goals and ways to change simple behaviors at home. Girls also asked LJA Farmers Market visitors to make a pledge to help their future and really evaluate their individual practices at home.