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UNI's RRTTC 'Get Your Green On' to expand its reach
Elementary students in the Cedar Falls area have the opportunity to engage in an environmental education program. Through the efforts of the University of Northern Iowa's Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center (RRTTC), "Get Your Green On," a pilot project launched at Lincoln Elementary School last year, is expanding its reach.
"Get Your Green On" will be implemented for kindergarten through sixth grades at all elementary schools in Cedar Falls during the 2009-2010 academic year. The program will serve more than 7,000 students, teachers, staff and parents, according to Jenny Bruss, RRTTC assistant program manager. She said the program incorporates the importance of reduction, reuse and recycling; water quality and conservation; natural resource and energy conservation; and landfill education to promote a green lifestyle to elementary students.
"This is a one-year project that will have a great impact on the local community," said Bruss. "Not only does the program include interactive education, there will also be in-class discussions over books that teach about several environmental issues of concern. Throughout the program students will get the chance to see how the environment can be relevant in all of the different classes they take ranging from math to art."
Recognized by Governor Culver for leadership in environmental education, the RRTTC was recently honored with a Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for its "Get Your Green On" program. RRTTC was acknowledged for, "providing a program that helps to engage and empower participants to be stewards of their local natural resource."
"Since the program was implemented at Lincoln Elementary, members of the janitorial staff have reported a 25 percent decrease in solid waste, a 50 percent increase in cardboard recycling and a 150 percent increase in paper recycling," said Bruss. "Students have been encouraged by the recycling figures collected through their efforts, including more than 2,300 pounds of paper and 50,000 plastic milk cartons."
Bruss said the program is designed for the schools to carry on with program implementation after the first year. "Teachers, staff and students will have the needed resources to keep the program going, but we are always available to help or give presentations. We also hope to pursue other programs in the near future that will address junior and senior high students."
For more information, contact Bruss at (319) 273-3689 or Jennifer.Bruss@uni.edu