Urban Prairie Waldorf School: Early Childhood Water Pump

Students: 8 Staff: 8 Mentor: Katy Glynn Project type: Stormwater Management Location: Chicago, IL Grade levels: Early Childhood The Urban Prairie early childhood and woodworking teachers collaborated to create a water pump using a wine barrel and a hand pump, used to store water for outdoor gardening. Since the preschoolers spend much of their school day in the…

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William Beye Elementary School: Understanding Our Impact on the Environment

Students: 397 Staff: 11 Mentor: Brianna Galvan Project type: Waste Reduction Location: Oak Park, IL Grade levels: 9-12 William Beye Elementary School’s project won the first place award in the elementary school category for the 21-22 cohort of the Illinois Green Schools Project. Beye students focused on reducing waste in the lunchroom through sorting recycling,…

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John Barry Elementary School: Recycling & Gardening

Students: 18 Staff: 3 Mentor: Francisco Sobral Project type: Waste Reduction Location: Chicago, IL Grade levels: K-6 Barry’s project encouraged students to reuse and recycle in creative ways, including building bird feeders, toy marble rollercoasters, lava lamps and miniature cars using recyclable items, collected from around the neighborhood. They also created posters educating the entire school on…

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Whitney Young Magnet High School: Green Team’s Earth Week

Students: 15 Staff: 2 Mentor: Kitty Knauz & Emily Lanyon Project type: Various Location: Chicago, IL Grade levels: 7-12 Whitney Young worked on a multi-part plan to create sustainable change in the school while educating students and staff about being more environmentally friendly. Students formed a school Green Team to raise awareness among their peers through…

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Academy for Global Citizenship: Waste and Energy Vermi Challenge

Students: 27Staff: 3Mentor: Ajit NaikProject type: Energy & Justice at SchoolLocation: Chicago, ILGrade levels: 8 Academy for Global Citizenship won the Theme of the Year award for the 21-22 cohort of the Illinois Green Schools Project. Eighth grade students in AGC’s Sustainability Design class conducted a school-wide waste audit and identified ways to improve. Using…

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Solorio Academy High School: Zero Plastic Project

Students: 15 Staff: 1 Project type: Waste Reduction Location: Chicago, IL Grade levels: High School Solorio’s Zero Waste Club noticed the excessive usage, waste, and incorrect disposal of single-use plastics in the school lunchroom, so they created a plan to enact systemic change locally within the Solorio school building and throughout the Chicago Public School System. Students…

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Oak Park and River Forest High School: Building Sustainable Habits

Students: 20Staff: 85Mentor: Mike Denz, Alyson Sternquist & Ron RichardsonProject type: VariousLocation: Oak Park, ILGrade levels: 9-12 Oak Park and River Forest High School’s project won the first place award in the high school category for the 21-22 cohort of the Illinois Green Schools Project. The OPRF Environmental Club students created project teams to focus…

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Prairieland Kids Daycare and Learning Center: From Preschoolers to Master Gardeners

Students: 45Staff: 7Mentor: Stephanie RichardsonProject type: Native Food GardenLocation: Morris, ILGrade levels: Daycare Prairieland children, staff, and families worked together to build a multicultural garden. Families donated seeds and soil based on the foods they eat at home, and children and staff used recycled products to help with the starts of the plants. Two classes…

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Pleasantdale Elementary School: Color the World with Butterflies

By Clare Zhang First thing every morning, the kindergarteners in Kara Mulder’s class run to check on the growth of their plants. They add food waste to the classroom compost buckets, then take them outside as a class to add to the bin in the school’s butterfly garden. This new routine is a result of…

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Lincoln Middle School: Lincoln Goes Green

By Clare Zhang Coming back to Lincoln Middle School in person after a year of the pandemic, sixth grade teacher Melissa Johnson saw this “refresh” as an opportunity to get students thinking about and working towards sustainability goals at school. “Adults have the best intentions, but when you’re working in schools, it should come from…

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