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Mayor Chuck Cahn joined officials from Woodcrest Elementary School, the Cherry Hill School District, Sustainable Cherry Hill and Recyclebank on Wednesday afternoon to present the Woodcrest Elementary Green Team with a $2,914 Green Schools grant.
The grant, provided through Recyclebank’s Green Schools program, will help enhance the school’s Peaceful Garden and Learning Center, an outdoor classroom where students receive engaging and interactive lessons on the importance of environmental preservation and sustainability, including nature, geography and nutrition.
“This garden will serve as a beautiful outdoor classroom where our students can reflect on and learn firsthand about the importance of environmental preservation and protection,” Mayor Cahn said. “Programs such as Green Schools are a valuable resource for our community at a time when every dollar counts, helping our schools to supplement traditional classroom learning with hands-on experiences that will make a lasting impact on the girls and boys who will someday be our community leaders.”
Lessons will be tailored to different grade levels within the school, so that all students can utilize the space. For example, students will learn about seeds, germination and factors that promote plant growth before they planting in their garden beds. Maintaining and observing the garden will give students a firsthand look at the life cycles of organisms, plant families, insects and characteristics of ecosystems.
Specifically, the funds will help purchase gardening tools and supplies, new raised gardening beds, plants and horticulture and picnic tables.
The grant was presented to Woodcrest Principal Dr. Beth Anne Kob and members of the school’s Green Team – a group comprising teachers, parents and a handful of fourth- and fifth-grade students who will serve as leaders in the school’s environmental education efforts. “The Recyclebank Green Schools Program is designed to empower youth to become green heroes and make a positive green impact in their community,” said Recyclebank’s Denise Diorio McVeigh. “We are delighted that students, parents and teachers at the Woodcrest Elementary School will be coming together to expand their garden and create an outdoor classroom for all to enjoy for many years.”
The Green Schools program supports environmental education projects in K-12 schools by allowing schools to earn up to $2,500 for Recyclebank Points donated by members of that school’s community.
In Woodcrest’s case, more than 160 Cherry Hill households donated their points to the project, helping the school to fully reach its goal of $2,414. That was matched by a $500 donation from Domtar, a sponsor of the Green Schools program, bringing the total award amount to $2,914.
“I hope that Woodcrest’s successful campaign this year will serve as a model for other Cherry Hill schools to explore and take advantage of grants and other opportunities available from sources such as Recyclebank and programs like Green Schools,” Mayor Cahn said. “On every level, this grant award represents the best of Cherry Hill: premier schools, residents who come together to generously support our children, and community partners who share in our vision for the future and continually help make Cherry Hill a better place to live, work and play.”
For more information on the Recyclebank Green Schools program, visit https://www.recyclebank.com/about-us/green-schools.
For more information on Woodcrest Elementary’s Peaceful Garden Project, visit https://www.recyclebank.com/contest/index/school/id/105/.