Hampton schools earn awards from Hampton Clean City Commission
Congratulations to the 2017 Hampton Clean City Commission (HCCC) Green School Award winners: Asbury Elementary School, Kecoughtan High School, Langley Elementary School, Phenix PreK-8 School, and Spratley Gifted Center. These schools exemplify the best environmental education practices among Hampton's schools.
Schools that received an honorable mention are Armstrong School for the Arts, Barron Fundamental Elementary School, Forrest Elementary School, Jones Magnet Middle School, Machen Elementary School, Moton Early Childhood Center, and Phoebus High School
The Green School Awards recognize no more than five schools that develop environmental programs and activities in six areas: litter prevention, environmental education within the classrooms and in extracurricular activities, school beautification, environmental leadership through related clubs, and energy and water conservation.
Asbury holds litter cleanups regularly. They recycle paper and cardboard and also regularly participate in the Trex Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge. Last year they collected 1,202 pounds of plastic bags. The Beautification Committee Flower Fairies cleaned up the front flower beds, thinned daffodil bulbs, weeded, trimmed, planted, and swept. The committee is comprised of eight to 10 staff members. Hampton City Schools encourages energy conservation and Asbury was recognized for the school’s efforts. The third grade had HCCC come several times for various environmental education programs. The third grade teachers met with HCCC before the school year began and set up a series of programs that included recycling, Tour de Trash, Garbage Pizza, Greeting Card Boxes, and Preventable Journey. While the school doesn’t have a formal outdoor classroom, it does have benches and tables that provide an infrastructure for outdoor classes.
Kecoughtan is an active participant in Green School efforts. The Ecology Club cleans up the school grounds monthly and participated in the HCCC Walk Hampton Clean event. In addition, they have the support of the Men of 78 (Gerald R. Ford), who clean up the grounds regularly. The school has a recycling dumpster and recycles regularly. In addition, the school participated in the Trex Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge. The Ecology Club members undertook some major beautification projects, including restoration of the butterfly garden, library courtyard plant rescue, and school perimeter plantings with the rescued plants. The Ecology Club also undertook energy conservation education announcements throughout Earth Week. At least eight teachers in the school led their classes in participating in the oyster gardening conservation project with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other partners. The independent living classes had HCCC talk about volunteerism. Speakers about water quality came to the Ecology Club meetings. Several science teachers had NASA speakers and the students participated in a variety of oyster education activities. Warrior Park and the butterfly garden are used for outdoor classes.
The Langley students volunteer for the Litter Patrol during recess several times each year, keeping the playground area clean. The school recycles throughout the year. The Green Team (ecology club) students pick up the recyclables from the classroom and fill the gray toters with the recyclables. Langley also participated in the Trex Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge. They shared energy conservation reminders with staff and students on a weekly basis and with parents on a monthly basis. The school participated in the Water Wishes activity conducted by the Hampton Waterway Restoration Project, providing water awareness education to the community at large. The Green Team students performed periodic skits on the morning newscast. In addition they visited primary classrooms and explained the plastic bag recycling program while wearing plastic bag superhero capes.
Phenix students participated in litter cleanups and had help from Guinevere Franklin #1051, a community organization. The school recycles regularly and also participated in the Trex Plastic Bag Challenge, collecting 392 pounds and winning the Mid-Atlantic competition for schools in their size category. They received a plastic bench for their efforts. The school has a rain garden and regularly conducts habitat cleanups to keep the school beautiful. Students and staff engage in energy conservation efforts that include education. The CHROME Club participated in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s oyster gardening project with Hampton City Schools. Les Femmes Social & Civic Society read Earth Day stories to students. The entire school was encouraged to participate in Meatless Mondays, with the Green Team leading the way. Teachers use the outdoors as a classroom as often as possible.
Spratley’s Ecology Club is actively involved in educating the other students at the school. They were Golden Litter Stick winners this year, having cleaned up their school grounds 27 times throughout the school year, removing 56 bags of litter during the cleanups. Students at Spratley also had an opportunity to participate in the annual 15-Minute Litter Challenge, during which they could clean up their neighborhood or another location for 15 minutes during the challenge period. The entire school participates in the recycling program and they collected plastic bags as part of the Trex Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge. The third, fourth, and fifth grade students participate in vegetable gardening in the schoolyard habitat and conduct beautification cleanups in the outdoor classroom regularly. The school has a rain garden, thanks to a Chesapeake Bay Foundation program. Students and staff participate in energy awareness and conservation activities. Students contributed to the Hampton Waterways Restoration Project Water Wishes program to help educate Hampton citizens about the importance of clean water. The fourth grade students raised trout throughout the school year that were released in a mountain stream in the spring. They also participate in water quality monitoring activities. Their curriculum was enriched by participation in a Tour de Trash to the landfill and use of the outdoor classroom. They also participated in several environmental field trips, including Bluebird Gap Farm, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Brock Center, Sandy Bottom Nature Park, and Wood's Orchard.
Moton Early Childhood Center won the 2017 Environmental Education Award. The school organized and implemented the environmental curriculum for students. These included school-wide seed plantings, crafts made of reused and recycled materials, a school parade carrying the recycle crafts, Earth Day pledges, classroom posters, and awareness-raising among city and school board guests invited to attend the parade. Moton also participated in the Spring Hampton Home Repair Blitz (May 2017) and partnered with the neighborhood office and Habitat for Humanity, painting halls and the cafeteria with the help of City Council members, School Board chair Jason Samuels, and others from the City of Hampton.
For more information about the Hampton Clean City Commission's School Pride in Action Program, the Green School Awards, and other environmental education efforts, contact HCCC at 727-1130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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