New York City schools put stronger focus on environmentalism
Mireya Navarro and Sindya N. Bhanoo, New York Times, January 10, 2010
Rather than simply covering predictable topics like recycling and tree planting, the Green School alerts students to problems like sooty air and negative media representations of their neighborhoods.
"Green is not just the environment,” Jennifer said. “It's politics, government, social justice."
"We do a lot of things other schools are not doing," said Jose, 15. "I feel like we’re doing something important."
The Green School is a progressive alternative high school in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York that focuses on sustainability, the environment, science, social justice, experiential learning, and career planning. The students are encouraged to delve into local issues that may affect them and their families, like contamination in waterways like the Gowanus Canal, water quality, or the razing of low-scale housing.
"You can't have a kid in a violent neighborhood and say, 'Let's talk about the polar bear,' " said Karali Pitzele, one of the school's two co-directors.
Across the nation, the range of green schools form a fledgling network, finding eager partners in groups like the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation, which provide lesson plans or money for field trips, and in private and government agencies that are making concerted environmental efforts in communities and cities.
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