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Williamsport school raising awareness about environment

September 21, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WILLIAMSPORT - It's not easy being green.

But students and staff at Williamsport Elementary School for Math, Science and Technology are going to try. They'll work this year to become a "green school" by focusing on environmental education and conservation.

They'll complete projects and submit information to the Maryland Association for Environmental Education, and teacher Jenny Blum said she hopes Williamsport Elementary is labeled a green school by the end of the school year.

Students say they are excited, and they have been learning about the environment in their science classes.

Fourth-grader Mason Kreps said he learned that there are things he and other students can do to help the environment.

"You can recycle," he said.

Students began recycling paper in school last year, Blum said.

Fourth-grader Madison Cavanaugh said students also walked around the elementary school to observe what steps they could take to improve the environment around the building.

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Madison said students will label drains around school with "Chesapeake Bay," so students and staff understand that what goes into the drains goes into the bay. She said students also could create a rain garden to help with erosion around the playground.

"Students will decide what activities that they want to put into practice," Blum said.

She said information about all of these projects and others will be submitted to the association for the school's consideration as a green school.

Fourth-grader Julia Smoot said that some lights are turned off in her classes, and instead lamps are used to save energy.

"If we waste up all of our energy, there won't be any light," she said.

Students are recycling batteries and taking other steps to improve the environment.

The school kicked off its green school campaign last week by wearing green, taking a pledge to keep the school green all year and participating in other activities.

"Anything that helps our environment and keeps things from ending up down in the bay is just going to help our community," Blum said. "We want to make sure (the students) know how to protect their environment and make it better."

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