H.L. Johnson Team Green Hands Out Awards

H.L. Johnson Elementary School celebrates Green Day, its version of Earth Day, the last Thursday of each month.

On Green Day, students are encouraged to wear green and bring in the “item of the month,” which is a green recycling fundraiser. Some of these items include 10 or more cleaned and packaged juice pouches, used clothing or drink caps. Juice pouches earn the school two cents each, clothing earns the school 10 cents a pound, and the drink caps are donated to Caps for Love, an organization that assists children in need of a wheelchair.

Each student who brings in an item of the month receives a pledge card, promising to care for and love the Earth, along with a color-changing pencil or a pencil made from recycled newspaper. Students can also earn pledge cards by attending green functions such as beach and park cleanups, bringing in a trash-free lunch or assisting with other Team Green functions.

At the end of the year, the student and the classroom with the most pledge cards win an award.

This year, Mandy Minitello’s second-grade class won “Green Class of the Year.” Each student received a bag donated by the Solid Waste Authority and filled with items the environmental group, Team Green, collected for the green efforts throughout the year. Bracelets from TerraCycle, T-shirts from Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful and pencils from the Solid Waste Authority were some of the items. The teacher received a $25 gift certificate to the store of her choice, a cork board made out of wine corks from TerraCycle, reams of recycled paper and a membership to Resource Depot.

Kindergarten student George Shetka was honored as “Green Student of the Year.” Not only does Shetka bring in his items of the month each month, he also assists his mother in cleaning, packaging and shipping out juice pouches, which the school earns two cents each for, as well as attending monthly campus cleanups.

To celebrate Arbor Day and schoolwide green initiatives, every student at H.L. Johnson was also able to choose, plant and take home a Florida maple seedling on the day of the green class and student award.

H.L. Johnson Elementary School is proud of its green class and green student of the year.

ABOVE: Mandy Minitello’s second-grade class was named Green Class of the Year.