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Mother Nature’s got a new guard - Public School 230’s ‘Green Team’ swings into environmental action

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Meet the “Green Club” from P.S. 230 in Kensington. They want to save the earth. It’s a tall task for this small group of youngsters, but these kids are determined. Late last year eight kids from the fourth and fifth grades banded together to form an after-school environmental club, under the direction of teacher Karen Reback. “I kept on thinking that something would happen to the earth,” said nine-year-old Rosna Ali, a founding member. She said she was inspired by a movie on global warming she watched in class. Rosna said she was so worried about the environment that she and a group of friends started spending their school lunch hours sorting out trash and picking out recyclables. “We’d wear gloves,” Rosna said. “It was pretty fun.” The club grew from there. Since then the budding environmentalists have studied their planet and they continue to put their new knowledge to work. The Green Club is focusing their planet-saving mission where they can have the greatest influence—at school. Club members are trying to educate and encourage classmates to make good and “green” decisions. Club members have spearheaded a school-wide education program. The students have decorated the school with educational posters. The group also writes and delivers public service announcements on the school loudspeaker every week. They’ve even taken a trip to Greenwood Cemetery to mulch trees. Most recently, the Green Club launched a school recycling program. At P.S. 230 (located at 1 Albemarle Road) students recently attended assemblies where they learned about the importance of recycling. Students watched a kid-friendly video produced by the city’s Sanitation Department. Afterwards, Green Club members quizzed their classmates and handed out prizes. Recycling containers have been placed throughout the school building. “If you don’t recycle, our landfills will get bigger and bigger and our planet will get dirty,” said 10-year-old Irene Bello after the kick-off event. “People need to know what goes in each bin,” added fifth-grader Aymon Faizi. Teacher Karen Reback said she started the club last year at the request of a group of students. “The thing I found most startling is that all of the students in my club had no understanding that everything we have on the planet comes from a natural resource,” Reback said. “Once students understand that, then they can buy into the whole idea of recycling. Otherwise, it just becomes a word.” As part of Green Club, students created step-by-step posters that show the “life cycle” of items like soda bottles, cans, cardboard boxes and glass. These posters are displayed in the P.S. 230 cafeteria. Reback said she hoped the school-based effort would complement lessons children learned at home. Reback encouraged parents to talk to their kids about the earth and how to protect it. “I notice that the students whose parents spend a lot of time talking about the environment have a better appreciation for what we’re doing,” she said. Reback said she planned to turn the Green Club into a lunchtime activity, allowing more children to get involved.

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