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Rio goes green
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world with the symbolization of wearing green for the day. Well, one local school took this day and its emerald symbol as an opportunity to better for their community and Mother Earth.
Rio Del Oro Elementary launched a student-fostered campaign earlier this month that centered on the school “going green.” In a culmination of their efforts many students sported green “Rio Goes Green” T-shirts on St. Patrick's Day.
“These guys are not strangers to community service,” said Erica Schallmo, first grade teacher. “Much of the time these ideas to reach out and better their community have come straight from the students themselves.”
Schallmo works with the school’s student council, which has brought forward several community outreaches this year including the drive to go green on campus and beyond.
As part of the Rio Goes Green campaign all classrooms have been provided with a class plant, which many classes have given a name and diligently take care of each day. Additionally, all classrooms have now been equipped, thanks in great part to the Recology Yuba Sutter program, recycling tubs for each classroom.
“The program is really starting to take off,” said Schallmo. “Classrooms are starting to really fill the tubs each day.”
The classrooms are all working together to help cut down on consumption and this includes turning off classroom lights whenever there is enough natural light to work without them on. This effort alone has resulted in them reducing their light use by 50 percent.
The campaign will continue throughout the rest of the month with the classroom that can best grow their class plant winning a small prize and the school once again sporting T-shirts at the end-of-the-month assembly, which will kick off Earth Day.
The go green campaign is not the only campaign that has recently been brought forward by the student council. Concurrently another student started a campaign that was dubbed “Pennies for Haiti” raising relief money for victims of the Haiti earthquake.
“I am so impressed with these kids. It is really powerful,” said Schallmo. “I see them wanting to do big things to change the world.”
PlumasLakeLife.com correspondent Michele Perrault can be reached at 763-3380 or e-mail her at email@example.com