On Tuesday, May 21, the students of Field Elementary School were presented with an Earth Flag from DuPage County's SCARCE (School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education) program.
In District 205, fifth grade students study the human impact on the environment. The Field fifth grade team (Marianne Fried, Kelly Castaldi and Laurie Gliblin), REACH Teacher Leanne Rider and Katie Murphy, Instructional Coach, identified this theme as an opportunity for meaningful learning. From January through May, the team of staff and students worked hard to earn the Earth Flag Certification for DuPage County Schools, sponsored by the DuPage County Environmental Committee. To earn this flag, all of the teachers had to attend a SCARCE training session to learn about recycling, green cleaning, water, and energy conservation.
Next, the fifth grade students, who led this project, attended a school assembly to learn more about recycling and reducing waste. With the help of SCARCE and the Field teachers, the students conducted a waste audit in their lunchroom, sorting and measuring all of the garbage that resulted from one lunch period. The waste measured 100.5 pounds.
Staff and students worked in groups to analyze the data, conduct research and propose solutions to the problems they identified. Then they shared their proposals with the first through fourth graders, asking them to also help reduce and eliminate waste in our lunchroom.
Fifth graders also began to volunteer in the lunchroom to implement their projects, such as running a share table and encouraging students to take home unfinished portions of their lunch.
We are proud to say that Field School eliminated lunchroom waste by 29.5 pounds! The fifth grade teachers and students would now like to challenge the fourth graders to continue to conserve resources and reduce waste next year.