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Green Grants

The Oklahoma green schools program is committed to empowering and educating students to make a difference in their community by greening up their schools through service learning projects.
Green Grants

Part of the Green Schools Program

For more information visit these links:

Oklahoma Green Schools Program
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture -- Forestry
Fletcher High School

Show Dates

Show 1212: Green Grants

Air date: March 18, 2012

 

Transcript

Rob:  Well an old Native American proverb says, “We don’t inherit the land from our grandparents, we borrow it from our children;” a concept that’s appropriately being implemented through Oklahoma’s Green Schools Program.  Joining me now to tell us more about all this is our Courtenay DeHoff.

Courtenay DeHoff:  Well Rob, the Oklahoma Green Schools Program is committed to empowering and educating students to make a difference in their community by greening up their schools through service learning projects.

Teachers, are taking notes

and listening carefully

to Christina Roberson’s Green Schools presentation.

Christina:  Green Schools is, it’s not just about saving the planet and improving the environment and making a difference, but it’s about improving the, the climate within the school buildings.  Improving student performance and providing a comfortable atmosphere and the proper lighting and the, and the proper air quality, and looking at the cleaners that are being used, and how long the buses are idling with the kids, you know, standing there, and looking at mold issues and native plantings around the school and outdoor classrooms and learning gardens and reducing waste and recycling and composting, it just, it encompasses all of that.

Courtenay:  Not only is the Green Schools Program hoping to save the planet, they’re hoping to save it with students.

Christina:  Its student led; so one of the first things that we ask the teachers that are interested in their school’s participating to do, is to create a green team.  And that brings a lot of different people to the table; they have to have a facility manager or someone on their custodial staff, they have to have administrative buy-in.  And we also encourage ‘em to have several students, student leaders on their, their green team; and, and this is the group that’s gonna to be driving their efforts during the school year.

Courtenay:  Here at the Oklahoma Green Schools presentation they’re encouraging schools to lower their environmental impact, reduce operating costs, and increase learning.  And some of these teachers and their schools are truly taking it to heart and going green.

[sounds of a buzzing saw]

To say Fletcher High is on the cutting-edge…

would be an understatement.

Seniors Frank Hastings and Jeffrey Raney, making sure the measurements are right.

Jeffrey Raney:  It really helps to have an obsessive compulsive personality like me and Frank do, because most of our stuff, if you’re a hair off, then it’s pretty well you’ve got to start all over.

[sounds in classroom]

Courtenay:  Today electricity is in the air, Tech Instructor Jason Adams showing off the school’s new wind turbine.

Jason Adams:  We’ve spent uh probably, probably 40 to 50 hours putting something together.

Courtenay:  Superintendant Kathryn Turner says there’s power in a place where ideas are encouraged.

Kathryn Turner:  The kids completely developed the project, built the project, and it’s going to be able to power one of our wells where we get our water from.

Jeffrey:  We’ve learned how all the mechanics of turning the wind into energy.  We’ve learned the uh, how the electricity is produced.

Kathryn:  It’s real education,

[sounds in classroom]

it’s real learning,

this shows that rural schools can be on the cutting-edge.

Jason:  They get in there, hands-on, and learning how this stuff works.

Kathryn:  It’s more than just reading and answering questions, and taking a test, this is living the information.

Courtenay:  Impacting the present, and a glimpse into the future.

Frank:  Kind of cool to see somethin’ you made go up and actually work.

Jeffrey:  A bunch of kids take and put together from basically nothing, and built something that produces power for free.

Courtenay:  And just like Fletcher High School, Roberson says all it takes is a good start.

Christina:  Teachers have the ability to pick and choose, to start anywhere that they want to start, pick an idea or an area that’s of interest to them, or more importantly of interest to their students, and just start.  The environmental issues are becoming more and more on people’s minds.  All you have to do is open a magazine or turn on the news and people are talking about environmental degredation and global climate change and environmental issues that are all around us that we’re facing.  And with more and more people on the planet, the environmental issues are becoming more and more eminent and just, sort of at the front of people’s minds.

Courtenay:  Now from here the teachers that attended the summer green schools workshops will be approaching their school administration with recommendations.

Rob:  Now, no doubt there is going to be some costs involved in this transition, but ultimately this will save the schools money.

Courtenay:  Definitely Rob, schools are built to meet codes and they’re often incomplete.  What the Green Schools Program is hoping to do is recognize each individual school’s needs, whether that be improved lighting or better air systems to reduce operating costs and improve learning.

Rob:  Alright, thank you so much Courtenay.

Now if you’d like to see how another Oklahoma school is going green with some simple changes, simply head to okhorizon.com and click on this week’s value added.