Getting greener

Four Skyridge students attend Clark County Green Schools Summit

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Skyridge Middle School seventh-graders, from left, Joey Emmet, Cooper McNatt, Michael Mattthews and Christian Nghiem attended a Green Schools Summit recently. They learned about additional ideas for resource conservation.

For the past three years, Skyridge Middle School has been at the forefront of the environmentally friendly Washington Green Schools program, which provides resource conservation tools for students, teachers and community members.

Recently, four seventh-graders were selected to attend a county wide student-teacher Green Schools Summit. They included Joey Emmet, Cooper McNatt, Michael Matthews and Christian Nghiem.

They were selected because of a keen interest in being environmentally friendly, according to teacher Gale Cooper.

“These kids are really excited about our existing programs at the school and are avid recyclers,” she said.

Currently, Skyridge has a variety of recycling programs in place, as well as a “no idling” policy for school buses to reduce emissions. Overseeing these programs is the Green Team, made up staff members and students.

“These boys also have a lot of great ideas for how we can make a softer impact on the earth,” Cooper said.

Examples include implementing new programming methods for the automatic facets and a no idling policy for parents who drive to pick up their students.

At the Green Schools Summit, the Skyridge students joined others from across Clark County and learned how to conduct a water audit, participated in a renewable energy activity and took an outdoor nature hike. In addition, they shared their vision for the Green Schools program.

“I learned that we could really save a lot of energy by cutting down on water usage,” Nghiem said.

Added McNatt, “The most important part I learned is that we need to be stricter about where kids put their food after lunch, and make sure it is getting into the compost and not dumped wherever.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned is that we can be a better Green School,” Matthews said.

Cooper is excited the boys had a chance to attend the summit, especially since Skyridge recently received level two Green Schools certification for transportation and outdoor air quality.

“They got to meet other kids in a more community-like setting and got to share what they were doing at the school, as well as getting some really nice ideas,” she said.