Announcing JJHS's First Ever Sustainability Week, March 2 - 6
John Jay High School Senior Catherine Curry is on the go—from attending classes to teaching at an after-school program at Increase Miller Elementary School. She also started Bedford Audubon’s Teen Council, participates in Sunrise Katonah’s environmental activism and serves as a lab assistant for her AP Environmental Science teacher.
Wherever she goes, she is sure to bring a refillable water bottle!
Convincing people to stop mindlessly consuming single-use plastic tops Cat’s sustainability wish list, along with encouraging them to take initiative in terms of climate change. She and the approximately twenty other members of John Jay High School’s Sustainability Club will have an opportunity to bring these issues and more to their classmates and teachers’ attention at the school’s first-ever Sustainability Week, March 2 – 6.
Meet Cat Curry!
Sharing the Plan with KLSD Administrators
A Spirit Week for Sustainability
The Sustainability Club used Spirit Week—five days in the fall when students celebrate the school’s sports teams and musical groups—as inspiration for a week that offers a different way each day that each of us can use less resources.
Steven Zoeller, the club’s advisor and high school engineering teacher, matches the students’ commitment to sustainability. He’s mid-way through earning an Advanced Certificate in Education for Sustainability at Manhattanville College. His role in Sustainability Week is to send a daily email from the club to the entire high school staff that provides specific ways to decrease the carbon footprint of their classroom.
The first email asked teachers to close classroom blinds each evening. “One of the largest sources of C02 for the district is heating the buildings,” wrote Zoeller. “By closing the blinds at night, an air gap is created between the glass and the blinds which helps insulate your classroom. We ask that you explain this to your students and have them open and close the blinds for you.”
Follow and Participate #KLGreen
Tuesday’s focus is on single-use plastic—in particular, water bottles. The Sustainability Club will host a water tasting in the cafeteria using the school’s water bottle refilling stations. The week also includes a clothing swap, a challenge to use less paper, a focus on proper use of food scrap and recycling receptacles and an activism symposium with Betta Broad, the Outreach Director for New Yorkers for Clean Power and Program Manager for Catskill Mountainkeeper's Energy & Climate initiatives. The community can follow along and apply Sustainability Week’s tips at home through daily posts @KLSchools #KLGreen on Facebook and Twitter.
“I hope Sustainability Week is just the beginning of our endeavor to be more sustainable,” said Zoeller. “As we've prepared for the different programs, I've learned that the district and many teachers are already implementing ways to be sustainable and can use this opportunity to come together as a community.”
Cat plans to attend Bard College in the fall and study environmental science … or elementary education … or art history. One thing’s for sure, she’ll bring her commitment to sustainability—and a refillable water bottle—with her.