English Language Learner 2nd Graders from Palm Desert, CA Win Prestigious U.S. EPA Youth Award - Going to White House to Receive 4/19/06

April 10, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News

Contact: WJ Carrel

Second Grade English Language Learners Win Prestigious U.S. EPA Youth Award

Palm Springs, CA – 17 third grade students from Abraham Lincoln (Title 1) Elementary School in Palm Desert, CA, plus 4 staff members, and families, will travel to Washington, D.C. to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s President’s Environmental Youth Award, Region 9, April 19, 2006. The group will accept the award on the White House grounds for their recycling/composting/gardening multi-media project “The Wonderful, Weird World of Worms”, produced when the students were second graders. 50% of the students are English language learners.

“We found the charming DVD and booklet produced by the students to be inspiring and instructional, as well as very humorous, and couldn’t resist selecting your students for this prestigious award,” writes Bill Glenn, Chief, Environmental Information and Education, Office of Public Affairs, US EPA Region 9, San Francisco, CA in his congratulatory letter to school principal Nelda Esmeralda.

Teachers Linda Reynolds and Judith Grenier incorporate math, science and technology, with an emphasis on environmental science, in their Voluntary Choice School Program in the Desert Sands Unified School District. To learn more about vermicomposting and recycling, the original group of 20 students created an organic waste recycling project in their classroom, and documented its progress with a book, and on video. The video has several components. Its purpose is to motivate students and faculty to participate in the lunch recycling program. “The project has been so successful that the CD is now being used in other schools,” comments multi-media teacher Reynolds.

The EPA has 10 regions; only one project is selected per region. Region 9, the most competitive, with more submissions than all the regions combined, includes not only California, but Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, The Pacific Islands, and 140 Tribal Nations.