Three cheers for 10 years!
Clear Lake Elementary’s Green Team recently earned an award for its tireless dedication to protecting the environment for the last ten years straight.
The elementary school club was granted the Oakland County Green Schools “Ten Year” award for its consistent involvement in the Michigan Green Schools Program on April 24.
Clear Lake Elementary was among only 14 schools in Oakland County to receive the award.
The Michigan Green Schools Program is a program through Oakland Schools which encourages public and private schools to participate in environmentally friendly and energy-saving activities.
Clear Lake Elementary has participated in the program since it first came to Oakland County in 2007.
The program was headed by Green Team Co-coordinator Renee Felix and has been consistently supported by Green Team Teacher Liaison Diane Lukas-Noe, who is also a kindergarten teacher at Clear Lake.
Clear Lake’s Green Team program has been designated as a top-level Michigan Evergreen School by earning 20 out of a possible 20 points through completing extra activities.
Although the Green Team currently has 26 students involved, Felix said the club has had up to 40 K-5 students involved in a single school year.
“Each one of my three kids has gone through the program at Clear Lake and we are definitely aware of the different things that support the Earth,” said Felix. “When we go to the beach we usually pick stuff up and take a bag around the neighborhood and we’re always looking for ways to help. I know a lot of the kids and their parents that have joined the Green Team will do the same thing… I think just being excited about the different programs that we participate in helps them kind of get that excitement going for students and they take it home to their families.”
The Clear Lake Green Team has organized countless activities to educate students and teachers on how to be more “green.”
The Green Team joined the Detroit Zoo’s A.D.O.P.T.S. program to raise awareness of endangered species. This year, Clear Lake students symbolically adopted a sloth named “Flash” through the program by making a donation towards the zoo’s endangered species program.
Clear Lake’s Green Team also marched in the Oxford Christmas parade in December and collected tennis shoes for the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program—which collects old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling and transforms them into Nike Grind, a material used to create athletic and playground surfaces and more.
Students are also encouraged to use natural light whenever possible to help conserve energy, cut back on their use of dispensable plastic products and to recycle regularly.
According to Ana Boggess, a fifth-grader at Clear Lake Elementary who has been involved with the program for the last several years, said the program has pushed her to think twice about leaving lights on and keeping electronics plugged in.
“I really think the Green Team is a really fun way to learn about the environment and to learn about green tips like recycling and reusing a lot of different things… It’s one of my favorite topics to talk about, the environment and animals,” Boggess said.
With her youngest daughter moving up to Oxford Middle School next year, this will be Felix’s final year as co-coordinator of the Green Team.
Next year’s program will be headed by Danielle Corrigan.