Students and staff across Houston Independent School District will have the opportunity to “green” their schools on Sept. 27 by participating in the third annual Green Apple Day of Service.
The event, sponsored by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, allows for parents, teachers, and students to create a healthy and productive school environment through local service projects.
So far, HISD has three projects scheduled for that day, and the goal is for more schools and departments to sign up.
“Green Apple Day of Service is designed to be a day where school communities come together and demonstrate how much they care about their school by participating in service projects that the school needs,” said Caroline Kostak, Green Schools Chair at the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.
More schools and departments across the district are encouraged to take part in the global movement to help highlight HISD’s commitment to building and maintaining schools favorable to the environment. According to the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, the district has the second-largest number of LEED-registered schools across the nation.
Rebecca Luman, PTO Community Service and Sustainability advisor at Briargrove Elementary School, said this year’s event spans Sept. 26-27 and will bring the community together to enhance the school’s butterfly and edible gardens, orchards, outdoor classrooms and play areas.
“As part of the Green Apple Day of Service activities, we will also install water bottle filling stations in our playground and school to provide healthy hydration and reduce the use of single-use containers,” Luman said.
Sign up to participate, and view a list of project ideas
Gabriela Mistral Early Childhood Education Center and HISD Nutrition Services have also signed up to host projects this year promoting greener and healthier campuses.
At Gabriela Mistral, preschoolers and their families will participate in a number of fun service projects on site, such as maintaining the campuses’ pond, vegetable and butterfly gardens, and creating crafts using green educational elements.
For HISD Nutrition Services, the department’s event will mark the end of “Recycle Games,” a three-week recycling program launch and educational promotion. Employees will receive information on the importance of recycling and the direct impact they can make within their building.
Luman said the work of the Briargrove community will not only beautify the school, but will help the school’s efforts to become a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Green Flag Eco School.
“We are excited that the Green Apple Day of Service brings together all our students, teachers, parents, and community to add value to our school, community and the world,” said Luman.
There is no deadline for HISD schools to get involved, but campuses are encouraged to sign up before Sept. 27.