Grades of Green
EXPANSION & RECOGNITION Since our website launched just three years ago on Earth Day 2010, Grades of Green has grown rapidly and expanded internationally with more than 104,000 students in 27 states and four countries enrolled in our programs. Grades of Green has been honored with several awards over the last four years, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious Environmental Award, a United … Read More
EXPANSION & RECOGNITION
Since our website launched just three years ago on Earth Day 2010, Grades of Green has grown rapidly and expanded internationally with more than 104,000 students in 27 states and four countries enrolled in our programs. Grades of Green has been honored with several awards over the last four years, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious Environmental Award, a United States Conference of Mayors Award, as well as being instrumental in two Grades of Green schools being designated as “Green Ribbon Schools” by the U.S. Department of Education.
Through our program work, we have brought and are bringing real environmental change to our communities. Some examples include: helping more than 50 Los Angeles County schools divert over 50,000 bags of trash from local landfills through our Trash Free Lunch Program; helping several California schools districts stop the use of toxic cleaning supplies in their schools; performing a “greening” of 10 underserved schools in the Los Angeles area and helping them set up waste reduction programs, including in-class recycling and lunch-time sorting systems; and assisting several local schools end the use of Styrofoam trays at lunch time. Should we receive one of the LA2050 grants, we look forward to continuing this hands-on program work in the schools within the LAYC.
EMPOWERING OUR YOUTH
While we are proud of the recognition our organization has received and the projects we have led, we believe our most important work is teaching our children that they have the power to make a difference. As noted above, it was Grades of Green students who went to their City Councils in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach to ask for bans of plastic bags and Styrofoam. Inspired by those stories, El Segundo High School students recently went to their City Council to ask that additional recycling containers be placed around town.
Several of our existing Youth Corps students have received national and regional recognition for their environmental efforts, including Grace C and Sam H who were named as Champions for Change by the White House, and Max R and Reese R, who were featured in a Washington Post article about banning Styrofoam.
Other Youth Corps and Grades of Green students are tackling environmental problems big and small at their schools and in their communities. For example, Yaeeun H is using Grades of Green 3R curriculum to teach kids at her school about how and why to protect the environment; Sydney H, a sixth grader, is organizing an e-waste collection drive at her school; Sam H is collecting used shoes to donate to Soles for Souls; and Lauren S and Jenna R, both sixth graders, are working to plant a native garden at their school. These kids are the future of Los Angeles and our best hope of making our vision for Los Angeles a reality in 2050.