On Nov. 18, a group of Durant students with their teacher and guidance counselor headed to Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s Environmental Excellence Awards Banquet to represent Durant Intermediate School’s Green Team Program and Durant Middle School’s Green School class. Both schools had been selected as a finalist for an award.
It was a phenomenal night for the group. An estimated 600 hundred people were in attendance representing groups from all over the state. The students were super excited to be in attendance. As finalists, they already felt like winners. They won the following awards:
• Durant Middle School – Do Your Art to Stop Littering Contest Winner
• Durant Intermediate School – K-12 Environmental Excellence Award and the Environmental Best of the Best Award
The Environmental Best of the Best is selected by comparing all of the winners and determining which individuals/groups scored the highest in all categories of the Environmental Excellence Competition. According to one of Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s tweets, the DIS Green Team was chosen primarily because of their innovative methods in keeping students engaged in green and environmental practices.
The DIS Green Team and the DMS Green School Class are continuing to evolve and grow. To represent both schools, the effort is called the Durant Green School Program. The innovative methods being developed include a system for students to collaborate together and build systems within their school, such as setting up a recycling station. At both schools, students have the option to take a class where they develop a deeper understanding of sustainability and have the time and space to work on their ideas.
At DIS, where the program was first developed, students do green team work during their recess. They participate on specialty teams such as the landscapers, composters, recyclers, etc. Each specialty team has a mission that complements the work of the other teams. When someone needs help with a project, he/she submits a work request to one of the teams. Teams work on a variety of tasks, such as waste stream analysis, blogging, art/signs, teaching, gardening, landscaping, recycling, making natural remedies to replace chemicals, collecting seeds, mining the waste stream, and more.
The program is in need of community partnership, specifically a 501c3 nonprofit partnership that would enable the program coordinator to seek grant funding from private foundations. For more information, contact Elizabeth Callicoat at 580.924.1397.