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💚♻️ Empowering Change: The Green Team Revolution at Ralya Elementary 💚♻️

In the heart of our community, nestled within the bustling hallways of Ralya Elementary, a silent revolution was brewing. Two weeks before the winter break, a subtle but significant issue surfaced - recycling at Ralya was in disarray. Cardboard boxes, instead of finding their way into recycling bins, were condemned to the dumpsters. It was a wake-up call, and it sparked a movement that would redefine the school's commitment to sustainability.

The catalyst for change wasn't a top-down directive; it emerged from within the student body itself. When confronted with the recycling dilemma, 5th graders in Sarah Haagensen's classroom didn't shy away. Instead, they rolled up their sleeves and decided to investigate firsthand. What they discovered was a revelation: paper wasn't always reaching the designated Paper Gator dumpster, recyclables were misplaced or put in the trash, and valuable resources were needlessly discarded.

But rather than lamenting the problem, these young minds saw an opportunity. Enter: The Green Team. Conceived by the students, for the students, this grassroots initiative aimed to transform Ralya into a beacon of environmental stewardship in Haslett Schools. With just 28 students initially onboard, the journey began.

The first order of business? Awareness. The Green Team recognized the power of communication and embarked on a public relations journey. Posters adorned the school's entrance, serving as a visual reminder of the importance of recycling. Meanwhile, heartfelt letters were penned to the Foundation for Haslett Schools and local businesses, soliciting support for their cause. The response was overwhelming, with the Foundation for Haslett Schools awarding the Green Team a $500 grant, and other businesses and community members contributing to the initiative.

But The Green Team didn't stop there. Armed with creativity and determination, they ventured into the realm of multimedia. From scripting to filming and editing, students took charge of crafting compelling videos that they plan to unveil very soon. One will serve as a clarion call to action, rallying both the school and the wider community to embrace recycling. The other, a practical guide on proper recycling practices, will aim to demystify the process and ensure every contribution counts.

As the momentum grew, so did the ranks of The Green Team. What started with 28 students soon burgeoned to encompass 50 fifth-graders, with plans to expand further. The initiative's success wasn't just measured in numbers but in the passion and dedication radiating from each participant.

Looking ahead, the vision for The Green Team extends far beyond the confines of Ralya Elementary. These young environmentalists dream of igniting similar movements in other school buildings and beyond. It's a testament to the power of youth-driven change, where small actions can ripple into transformative movements.

As winter drew to a close, The Green Team welcomed new recruits, eager to carry the torch of sustainability forward. With rotating teams ensuring continuity and rejuvenation, the future looks bright for Ralya and its commitment to environmental responsibility. Their teacher and mentor, Mrs. Haagensen, gushes with pride when talking about this incredible initiative, and looks to the future:

"I have hopes that this will become a tradition at Ralya and that these 5th graders will continue this initiative through the rest of school and in life."

Here, at the Foundation, we are thrilled to support this incredible initiative and hope that The Green Team will endure as a cherished tradition, leaving an indelible mark not only on Ralya but on the hearts and minds of its students. With each recycled item and every advocacy effort, these Ralya Eagles and future Haslett Vikings are not just altering the present; they're shaping a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.

Do you want to support our efforts in funding incredible initiatives like this one that fall outside of the scope for our District's funding? Join us by donating here:

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