At the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) meeting on February 16, 2017, askHRgreen.org recognized two local schools and educators for their commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership.
Ms. Wendy VanHosen, assistant principal at John Yeates Middle School in Suffolk, and Ms. Amber LaMonte, teacher at York High School in Yorktown, each received askHRgreen.org’s Environmental Action Award. askHRgreen.org is a region-wide environmental public awareness and education campaign administered through the HRPDC and powered by the HRPDC’s 17 member jurisdictions and the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD).
The Environmental Action Award recognizes individuals who inspire youth (K-12) to have a positive impact on the environment by taking action in their schools or communities. The winning projects were two of 19 projects that received funding through the askHRgreen.org mini grant program in 2016. The projects at John Yeates Middle School (Suffolk) and York High School (York County) were selected as outstanding projects by a panel of local askHRgreen.org representatives from the HRPDC’s 17 member jurisdictions and HRSD.
Ms. VanHosen’s leadership established a school-wide recycling program at John Yeates Middle School.
This project is a shining example of what can be done when students, teachers and community partners work together,” said Katie Cullipher, askHRgreen.org team leader. “Not only did the project focus on the importance of recycling and reducing landfill contributions, but also on integrating diverse studies from art to science to social studies. The project itself is a sustainable initiative that will continue to impact students and the environment for years to come.
At York High School, Ms. LaMonte helped the school’s green team improve availability and access to tap water and reduce plastic bottle waste by installing a water bottle filling station.
This project was quite impressive as the students tracked data on water usage and challenged their peers to reduce waste,” said Cullipher. “Because of their efforts, the school experienced a 75 percent increase in the number of students carrying reusable water bottles.
While the projects may have started with a simple idea and a small amount of grant funding, both projects serve as a legacy to the schools and will continue to remind students and faculty alike to make an impact by thinking globally and acting locally.
In addition to the award, each school received a check for $100.00 to be spent to further their project or to launch a new environmental initiative.
To learn more about the mini grant program or other regional environmental education initiatives, just askHRgreen.org.