Go Green School of the Week

Fox Middle School

Arnold, Missouri

Week of September 22, 2008

Fox Middle School students are taking the world by storm with the school's ongoing program, dubbed "Storming the World with Character." Fox's Go Green programs are part of the school's efforts to instill positive character traits among students.

Fox is relatively new to the Go Green movement, having hopped on board in January of this year. Students got into full swing in the spring with Earth Day. Teachers were given reusable water bottles to encourage them to shy away from wasteful bottled water. All 450 students decorated paper grocery bags with eco-awareness slogans to hand out at the local grocery store.

In just a few months, Go Green has gotten into the hearts and minds of Fox students.

"I hear the kids constantly saying things like 'Make sure you turn off the lights when you leave the room' or 'Hey, you could have recycled that,' " Kristen Juelfs, teacher and Go Green adviser, said. "They’re starting to be more aware."

The school year kicked off with a creative program to teach kids that everything they do has an impact on the Earth. Students had balloons they blew into when teachers posed questions, such as "How many of you drink bottled water instead of using reusable containers?" For every hand that went up, students blew a puff of air into their balloons. Eventually, the balloons -- or mini rubber Earths -- exploded.


Students are learning their actions "affect their lives, and they need to take good care of the Earth," Juelfs said. "They’re taking more ownership."

Fox, in the suburbs of St. Louis, has long recycled various trash products, but last spring added cell phones to the mix. This year, students' creativity has gone colorful after a teacher suggested students recycle used crayons.


"The kids are just loving that idea," Juelfs said. "They’ve brought in so many crayons. It’s insane."


The bits and pieces of leftover crayons will be melted safely into creative shapes, such as stars or hearts, with the help of a heated oven and metal cookie cutters. The fun-shaped crayons with wild colors will be sold to raise money for a schoowide project, perhaps supporting water pumps in an African town. The need for plentiful, clean and safe drinking water was emphasized last

week with a water relay game the entire school played.


Fox keeps the Go Green projects front and center in the minds of students, teachers and parents with a Go Green Tip of the Week on the Fox Middle School web site.


This year, students plan to take part in the Missouri Stream Team, a statewide project to keep the Show-Me state's waterways clean.


Students are taking their green projects seriously, Juelfs said.


"It’s not just affecting them at school," she said. "It affects their lives, and they realize they need to take good care of the Earth. They’re taking more ownership."