Success Stories

School Spotlights

P.S. 31 Paints the City Green

It was a great day for P.S. 31 at the Go Green Greenpoint Festival at McCarren Park in Brooklyn. The school's Eco-Machine team manned a booth at the festival and sold painted pot air plants and reusable water bottles. They enjoyed visits from many wonderful people including NWF's Emily Alix Fano, NY Assemblyman Joe Lentol, GCEF's Richard Mazur, and District 14 Superintendent Alija Winnicki. The students and teacher Sheri Sanker showcased their recycled art project and sustainability efforts for the year! Way to go P.S. 31!

Sustainable is Attainable

M.S. 51 in Brooklyn was hosting their first annual "Sustainable is Attainable" Sustainability Summit on Saturday, June 14 from 11:00am - 2:00pm at 350 5th avenue in Park Slope. The event was open to all DOE schools and students! Contact Sustainability Coordinator Jody Reiss with questions.

This event's theme was water, waste, and energy. Activities included author readings, clothing swapings, crafts with recyclable materials (including crocheted purses from plastic bags, and paper beads from magazines), water games and activities, calculating carbon footprints with DOT, and many others, including local food vendors. A $5 entry fee went towards a M.S. 51 student-led project to install bottle-filling water fountains at the school.

Maspeth High School, Queens was recognized with the Green Flag Award

On April 25th, Principal Abdul Khurshid-Muttakabbir, biology teacher Aaron Bell and 30+ student Green Club (GC) members celebrated their Eco-Schools Green Flag Award with Council Members Elizabeth Crowley, State Senator Joe Addabbo, and National Wildlife Federation's Emily Fano and Curtis Fisher. CM Crowley presented students with certificates of appreciation for their collaborations on community cleanups and tree giveaways with MillionTreesNYC. A presentation by GC students and a visit to the annual science fair preceded the celebration. Check out their Facebook Page for more!

To earn the Green Flag (led by biology teacher Aaron Beel), Maspeth Green Club students have:

  • Conducted facility-wide audits for waste and recycling energy and water use.
  • Initiated a study of the school's heating and cooling systems to identify inefficiencies. Conducted recycling Town Hall assemblies, set up recycling bins, energy saving tips, and recycling messages in every classroom in the school and launched indoor and outdoor composting programs.
  • Won the citywide and borough-wide 2013 Golden Apple for recycling and reducing waste.
  • Won the borough-wide DSNY 2012 Golden Apple award for community beautification initiatives.
  • Designed educational recycling games for the school's Halloween carnival.
  • Grown hydroponic produce in the science lab, and created an indoor learning garden(too align with the Living Environment curriculum and to study nutrition and sustainable agriculture).
  • Created an outdoor garden (with plans for a greenhouse), and planted several trees on campus.
Congratulations Maspeth High School!!

Sustainability Initiative Annual Energy Conservation Art Contest

The Sustainability Initiative held its 3rd Annual Energy Conservation Art Contest in January. Over 1,200 students from all five boroughs and all grade levels submitted artwork this year. Fifteen students' artwork were selected to create the NYC DOE 2014-2015 Energy Efficiency Calendar. For the month of April, another 100 pieces of artwork will be on display at the Tweed Courthouse as well as at Grand Central Terminal during Earth Day events (April 22-24).

The DOE hosted a reception at Tweed Courthouse on April 4, 2014 to award the students, their families, and school representatives. Students and teachers spoke about their artwork and feelings on energy conservation and sustainability.

Congratulations to the winners! Grand Prize:Laura Dabalsa, 11th Grade, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Manhattan

September: Shalisia Johnson, 12th Grade, Gramercy Arts High School, Mn

October: Katarina Albano, 5th Grade, P.S. 003 Margaret Gioiosa School, SI

November: Juliana Lay, 6th Grade, I.S. 125 Thom J. McCann, Queens

December: Amin Nasari, Kindergarten, P.S. 154, Queens

January: Olivia Lee, 9th Grade, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, Mn

February: Alaniss Garcia, 4th Grade, P.S. 206 Horace Harding School, Queens

March: Maeryam Nasari, 4th Grade, P.S. 154, Queens

April: Destiny Ashley, 5th Grade, P.S. 121 The Throop School, Bronx

May: Thomas Farrell, 10th Grade, Maspeth High School, Queens

June: Yumi Wu, 3rd Grade, P.S. 21 Edward Hart, Queens

July: Sophie Chen, 2nd Grade, P.S. 130 Hernando DeSoto, Manhattan

August: Jay Shah, 1st Grade, P.S. 133, Queens

Earth Week With Columbia Secondary School

Columbia Secondary School in Manhattan celebrated Earth Week March 17-22 with a range of activities. During the week, Faculty members integrated environmental themes into their courses. In the Political Philosophy class, student Nicholas Pape gave an inspired full-period lesson on economic, political, and scientific solutions to environmental problems. He led lively discussions on vertical farming, world hunger, and more. The Green team also sponsored:

  • An energy pledge drive
  • An event on the International Day of Happiness and Well Being on how taking actions to be green and sustainable can contribute to your own and other's happiness
  • A dress-down day to raise funds for a water system or sanitation project donation in a developing country

Global history students traveled to the United Nations on March 20 for a tour and to represent CSS at special Earth Day celebration and the ringing of the Peace Bell with a variety of organizations and UN employees. And on March 22 several students attended the DOE's Sustain-A-Mania event to network with other teen leaders to build skills and connections for taking sustainable action.

Dewitt Clinton High School and Recycling Champions

In January, students at Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, coordinators from GrowNYC Recycling Champions Program and DOE Director of Sustainability conducted a waste audit to understand and quantify the school's waste. A waste audit is a hands-on activity for students to sort and measure, and understand the amount and type of waste their school produces.

The result of the waste audit, quantified by weight, revealed 50% of their waste was food, 17% paper, 16% metal, glass plastic cartons and 17% trash. The student Environmental Affairs Club is now in the early phase of their recycling campaign and students are distributed recycling containers and presenting 5-minute demonstrations in the classrooms. Check out these resources>to do your own audit!