Wellesley Middle School’s Gym A was a busy place on Friday, March 1. Large platters of sandwiches, boxes of pizza, trays of sushi, tables, and chairs were all being moved into the gym while Wellesley GreenSchools volunteers and WMS Green Team members were busy transforming the gym into a conference room. By the beginning of lunch over fifty excited sixth grade students poured into the gym.
The meeting was the launch of the new Green Ambassador program at WMS. Wellesley GreenSchools decided to begin the program with sixth graders, as a sort of test run. The program is designed to get students involved and educated in green issues. Through the program, two ambassadors from each homeroom will meet once a month during lunch to share ideas and learn about the next month’s goals. Each month there is a new theme, and during which Green Ambassadors educate their homeroom on that month’s issues. This includes ways for the students to take action towards sustainability at home and in the classroom; this could eventually include competitions between the classes.
For example, March is Fossil Fuel month. The Green Ambassadors were given small cards with information about fossil fuels for their homerooms; these are to serve as a basis for their presentations in their homerooms. They include information on fossil fuel, oil, natural gas, and other related topics. The cards also give students ways to help: changing light bulbs, managing the thermostat, and checking the water heater in their homes. Students will keep track of participation by homerooms, and the class with the most participation will win a prize.
Quentin Prideaux, a green advocate trained by Al Gore to educate students on green issues, also presented to the sixth grade ambassadors on March 1. He focused his presentation on climate change and ways to help. The sixth graders seemed to have a positive response, and were all actively engaged and seemed genuinely interested in the subject. One eighth grade Green Team member says, “It was perfect for the age group; it was interesting, as it educated them enough but made it easy to understand, and most importantly it kept their attention.” GreenSchools considers the launch event a success, and looks forward to the results that the program will bring in the future.