State Names Upham and Wellesley Green School “Winners”

green schools maGreen Schools of Massachusetts named Upham School and the Wellesley Green Schools Council, Green Difference Award winners yesterday.

The 5th annual Green Difference Award ceremony event will take place at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on April 24th.

Each year Green Schools of Massachusetts celebrates the efforts of local schools and awards deserving recipients for their leadership in environmental awareness and actions in their schools and communities.

Wellesley’s Upham School and Wellesley Green Schools Council were 2 of the schools represented and recognized for various green initiatives including recycling, environmental education and special projects.

Upham School

IMG_2773The Principal, parents, faculty, and students at Upham Elementary School took on the goal of getting every classroom in the school Wellesley Green School Council ‘green certified’ as part of its Green Week last April.

From reading books with eco-friendly themes, to using both sides of a piece of paper and turning off lights, computers and water when not in use, as well as recycling, the Upham School community is doing its part to take care of our planet Earth.

This effort, lead by the Green Team leaders Sarah Bua, Bettina Eikeboom Mel McDivitt and Jessica Stanton, entailed having every classroom meet a list criteria to make classrooms and activities in the classrooms more environmentally friendly.

Building on a program designed by Wellesley High School Green Team students a few years ago, Wellesley Green Schools created the “Green Classroom Certification” program and has rolled it out to elementary and middle school classrooms across the district.

Upham School was the first to declare they wanted to get every classroom certified and worked hard to attain the goal.

Most claimed it was easy, fun and a great learning tool for all involved.

Upham’s leadership has encouraged other elementary schools to try to do the same. Their goal of “Go Green by St. Patrick’s Day” prompted

Sprague School to accomplish the goal this year.

Wellesley Green Schools Council

The parent green team leaders from Wellesley Green Schools were awarded Green Schools 2013 Green Difference Outstanding Environmental Award due to their efforts on the Towns’ Power To Choose renewable energy program.

Wellesley Green Schools is a collaborative group of teachers and parents working together with the students and administration to reduce the schools’ ecological footprint and inspire ecologically minded citizens.

The goal of the volunteer organization is to inspire students to create a healthy sustainable world. Together, they help Wellesley school students learn environmental responsibility through various waste and energy reduction, and other earth friendly initiatives. This in turn will help create healthy, sustainable, schools and community.

Due to the outreach and enthusiasm to encourage the Power to Choose program through the schools, Wellesley, MA was named by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the first Green Power Community in Massachusetts, and the second in all of New England.

Wellesley Green Schools’ Parent Green Leaders that worked on the program include Nancy Braun, Sarah Bua, Jenny Cavallerano, Theresa Coffey, Gaby DeGrace, Bettina Eikeboom, Andrew Friendly, Mary Gard, Andrea Giroux, Sheila Igoe, Jessica Langerman, Susan Morris, Jeffrey Novins, Quentin Prideaux, Betsy Sheehan, and Phyllis Theermann.