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On April 4, 2019, members of the Greenlove Foundation(GLF) attended an assembly at the Hope Valley School in Chariho. The foundation donated a water bottle filling station(WBFS) to the school in memory of Kendra L. Bowers. Kendra was an environmental science student at UVM who was passionate about the preservation and protection of the land and its resources. The WBFS allows an individual to use a refillable water bottle to get filtered drinking water rather than using a “single-use” bottle. Plastic bottles are a major contribution to plastic pollution in landfills, waterways, and the environment.
One of the mission goals of Greenlove is to foster and grow an optimistic, positive and forward thinking sense of environmental responsibility and sustainability awareness in schools to establish a life long habit of regarding water health for the world. A packet developed by the GLF containing an “Educational Planning Guide for School-Based Installation” was given to the school. The guide provides a timeline for planning projects, building leadership roles, and provides resources to educate, empower and cultivate students. The goal is to engage students with current environmental and sustainability issues, generate environmental awareness through project based learning. The students and faculty used the guidelines to create their own projects and activities. Many parts of the planning guide have been adopted by the State of Rhode Island “Task Force to Tackle Plastics.” Greenlove board members, Kathy Bowers and Sasha Garfield, are part of the education committee.
Mrs. Jennifer Ricci, a fourth grade teacher, welcomed the enthusiastic students that were dressed in their favorite festive costumes as part of “Spirit Week”, teachers and faculty, and GLF members in the gym where the WBFS was adorned with handmade green artwork. The students incorporated the theme, “reduce, reuse, recycle, and refuse” as they sang songs, recited a poem, displayed their colorful hand made posters, and presented creative designs for a reusable bag. Three students won a “green medal” and recycled art pencil for their creative posters and one lucky student won the contest for her artwork on a reusable bag. Each student was given a reusable bag with the winning logo the following day. The students wowed the audience with a cleverly written song about recycling to the tune of the “12 days of Christmas”. Mr. Giuseppe Gencarelli, affectionately called “Mr. G” gave thanks to all of the students and faculty for their hard work, passion, and creativity throughout the months to encourage others to change their habits of using plastic.
Seventeen WBFS have been donated by Greenlove Foundation to 10 RI schools, 5 in parks and recreational areas, and one at South Carolina Aquarium.
A gathering will be held at Thompson Middle School this Friday, June 14, at 9:30 with Greenlove Board members and students for the dedication of a water bottle filling station that has been donated to the school.
For information on the Greenlove Foundation visit https://www.greenlovefoundation.org/.