Big Green New Mark. The story. Starts. Now.
Here's the backstory.
1. Challenge Based Learning last year: Kids interviewed our custodians and found we send 100% of lunchroom waste to the landfill -- and have done so since 1973. They were appalled. They DID something about it. Read all about what the kids did here and here. According to Gary Kannenberg if you could find New Mark Middle School's 1973 waste in the landfill, you'd likely be able to read any papers and see the food itself--intact. No oxygen equals no decomposition.
Youtube Video I made last summer about how Missouri Organic, our commercial composting facility works.
The KC BUSINESS community composts and recycles food waste, but the great majority of schools in KC do not. Schools should be leading the charge! If kids recycle waste into 3 bins at lunch every day as common practice, the experience will impact family awareness and practices and this will impact the community as a whole.
2. I went to a Green Business Network KC meeting this summer. Why? Curious to see how I could apply what business world was doing to the education world. I met Gary Kannenberg. I shared my story and passion for responsible waste management in KC schools. I shared that we didn't have the money to pay $250/month for composting pickup. Collisions matter. Gary was writing a grant with Shari Wilson of Project Central. They needed 2 schools in their grant. They wanted the same thing I did. They added New Mark and one of our feeder schools, Fox Hill into the list of 5 schools covered in the grant.
3. Gary and Shari's grant from MARC was awarded! The $47,000 grant includes 5 KC area schools and helps each schools reduce lunchroom waste to the landfill by ~90%! The 5 schools are Smithville Primary, New Mark Middle and Fox Hill Elementary in North Kansas City Schools, and 2 elementaries in Kansas City Public Schools. The grant pays for Gary and Shari to coordinate the lunchroom flow with red/blue/green barrels, problem-solve with custodians to get it running smoothly, coordinate and pay for Missouri Organic to pick up our food waste 3x/week, coordinate teacher training, HELP in our classrooms with curriculum and teaching, set up waste audits with kids before and after, buy Vermicomposting kits, and help us SHIFT to responsible waste management DAILY! In the future, we can help OTHER SCHOOLS make the change by sharing our journey.
4. Gary and Shari kicked off our Big Green New Mark (thanks to their grant!) by holding an #Edcamp session at our school's recent #edcamp. (Yes, we do #edcampPD in our school and teachers love it. EdcampPD in Schools--Blogpost 1 and Blogpost 2)
Flickr Slideshow/Story of Gary and Shari's Edcamp Visit with New Mark teachers!
5. OUR GRAND KICKOFF to Big Green New Mark is Monday, March 2nd during lunch! Eco-Elvis will be in the house. We hope to have local news stations covering this event. It's a positive education story and one that will make the kids and community smile.