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Green Scene: Seneca Sixth Graders Take Environmental Action

Leading Seneca's efforts to gain Official Michigan Green School status, the Green Team is working to protect the local environment one project at a time.

So many ideas, so little time.

Only a few months old, the Seneca Green Team is wasting no time in planning and undertaking projects to make their school and community more environmentally friendly.

“They are really outgoing and really want to get involved,” said Shari Fogolini, Seneca Green School coordinator and sixth-grade teacher. “They really care about the environment and they have a lot of ideas. It’s hard to keep them focused, there is so much they want to do.”

The team was formed in late 2011 to lead 's efforts to gain Official Michigan Green School status for the 2011-12 school year. Seneca was previously named a , one of 14 Chippewa Valley schools to be recognized by the program.

“We asked for volunteers and ended up with 13 (sixth-grade students) committed to helping out,” Fogolini said. “Our first order of business was to see what we could do to get Green School designation, and then to decide what we were going to do to accomplish that. The students had a lot of good ideas, and jumped in immediately.”

Some of the team’s more recent projects have included selling recycled pens to raise money for the Kenyan Orphan Fund (more than $450 at last count) and organize their peers to write letters to toy manufacturers urging them to use less packaging for their toys to protect the environment.

“We also did home energy surveys with sixth-grade students,” Fogolini said. “They brought a form home and audited their energy use. We’re also working out the details to visit two neighboring elementary schools to read to their students about the environment.”

And when the students return from spring break, Fogolini said the team plans to organize a roadside cleanup along 21 Mile Road between Heydenreich and Card.

“We’ll walk up by 21 (Mile) and Card, where there is so much garbage, and clean up that whole area,” she said.

Green Team projects will continue through the remainder of the school year and when students return in the fall, Fogolini plans to bring a new set of sixth graders on board to continue the team’s environmental efforts.

“I’m not sure where the team will go at this point, but I really think sixth grade is a good age to get involved. They are just coming into middle school and that seems to have worked out very well.”

If Seneca does earn Official Michigan Green School status for this school year, it will be honored April 16 at the Macomb County Green Schools Award Celebration.

The Michigan Green Schools Program is an educational initiative which encourages students to participate in activities that are good for the environment and promote energy efficiency and savings.

Seneca Green Team:

  • Lindsey Andersen
  • Angelo Arteche
  • Robert Fitch
  • Mallory Flenna
  • Nicole Franzoni
  • Kimmestry Geter
  • Avery Hodor
  • Kailyn Kates
  • Natalia Kulaga
  • Jessica Pietrzyk
  • Jade Riccobono
  • Tori Vuljaj
  • Allyson Wisinski

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