It’s not often that a school district has $1 million to put towards improvements for school sustainability. It’s even less often that the students themselves get to choose what the money gets used for. But that was the case in the Sacramento City Unified School District’s (SCUSD) 2nd annual Project Green contest.
Twelve SCUSD entered the contest, including 3 ACE high schools: C.K. McClatchy High, Luther Burbank High and the School of Arts and Sciences. Each school’s Green Team conducted a waste and energy audit of their school, then determined their recommendations for improvement. Projects ranged from improving recycling programs to installing solar tubes and cool roofs.
Two ACE Action Teams represented their schools in the contest and both walked away with big awards:
The Burbank Environmental Action Service Team (BEAST) won 4th place and a whopping $70,000 to improve their school’s
recycling program, based on the results of a full trash audit conducted by the team.
C.K. McClatchy’s Eco Club took home 1st prize, including an astounding $150,000 in prize money. Their project was to green their school’s bathrooms, including low-flow, dual-flush toilets, auto-sensor lights and air hand dryers.
Especially exciting to this ACE Educator is her role in bringing the McClatchy Eco Club into the contest at the 11th hour and sharing with them the success of another ACE Action Team, the Reed High Eco Warriors, who won $12,000 in 2011 to green their school’s bathrooms. Yeah for the cross-pollination that comes from Action Teams learning from each other!
SCUSD’s Center for Green Schools Fellow, Farah McDill says, “Project Green is a one-of-a-kind project nationwide. When I tell people that Sacramento City Unified is allowing students to make decisions about capital improvements to green their school, they are amazed. This is truly a unique venture and one that these students will gain from now and for the rest of their lives.”
Congrats to both teams for their big wins! We can’t wait to see you put this money to use.