This post is a little late-the past few days have been busy busy! Its official! We have three schools that have confirmed to attend the first meeting of the Central Ohio Green Schools Initiative in September!! These special three are Carlisle Elementary in Delaware, Trinity Elementary in Columbus, and Westerville North High School. It may seem like a small success compared to the number of schools we are inviting but I am not discouraged! Just getting the word out about environmental programs is important and groups like Green Columbus will keep working to educate, engage, and impact positive change. What is even more fantastic to consider is that each school we have confirmed represents hundreds of other people and can therefore represent a powerful tool for their whole district! So really, its not just three representatives attending, it is hundreds of potential people and moments for education and change!
As of yesterday, I have successfully contacted all the principals for 14 school districts across central Ohio. Next week we will wrap up the remaining districts and that part of the project will be completed. Outreach to the administrators will always remain part of the work-I will need to maintain communication and address any follow-ups. In addition, I will continue to extend invitations to anyone interested in attending our first meeting. However, once I have contacted each district and all of its principals, I will focus more specifically on the comprehensive resource guide we are going to provide to any school who wants to participate in the network. At this point, Erin and I have decided to break down the resource guide into nine parts: current environmental education programs, fundraising and grants, local environmental groups, energy, non-toxic, waste, school supplies, local and state government, and any other helpful links and resources. Each category will provide concentrated information about each topic with several subtopics included, helpful tools and links, practical application instructions, and additional contact info. The goal of the resource guide is to explain complicated issues within the green school movement and enable a school with a fraction of education and understanding to begin moving towards a greener learning environment. Most importantly, the guide will serve as one possible route for schools to take, a route that I will carefully consider to make sure it is as applicable to the realities of public schools. What is really exciting about this network is that I have not found very many resources for going green that are catered specifically to schools. Therefore, I will work to make sure that in additional to general knowledge, the guide will also offer suggestions and information that work specifically for schools. It will be my job to absorb all the information I can about each topic, consider it, organize it, and then produce extremely user-friendly versions. This past week Erin and I had a great brainstorming meeting and it was super-productive! I feel energized to finish up the school contact and dive right into talk of energy efficient light bulbs and green school lunches!
Also don’t forget, next Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. is July Green Drinks at Woodlands Tavern in Grandview! The night will be full of great food, drinks, and conversation so definitely come stop by!
-Alex ~Green Columbus