Although the team consists of only four members, Kennedy High School’s Green Team has high hopes to make an impact throughout the school this year.
The Green Team was originally started by Alison Vis, the Green Team Project Coordinator with the Cedar Rapids Community School District. After Vis came to the club fair at Kennedy on Sept. 11, seniors Spencer Davis and Sydney Ross decided to join and become the co-presidents of Kennedy’s Green Team.
“I’ve always been concerned and aware of my environmental impacts,” Ross said. “When I realized there was a club being formed at Kennedy I was really excited to be a part of it and make a difference.”
During the Green Team meetings the four members, Spencer Davis, Mackinzee Macho, Alexis Peterson and Sydney Ross and the advisors, George Anderson and Patrick Cory discuss current school issues, their ideas on how to fix them, and how the team can implement them. The team’s meetings are usually every other week during SMART Time.
“Although the team is pretty new and we haven’t had very much time to implement our ideas, I think that teacher awareness about energy consumption has increased since we’ve been on the announcements,” Davis said. “I notice more teachers closing their doors during class, turning their lights off when leaving the room and turning their SmartBoards off when no students are present.”
One of the team’s short term goals is to win a district wide competition based on energy consumption for Kennedy, which would grant them $5,000. The team’s long term goal is to decrease the number of copies teachers make and overall paper usage, decrease waste in the cafeteria and to make students and staff more aware of their impact.
“One of the current projects that we are looking into is painting the recycle bins wacky colors to draw students’ attention towards them,” Davis said. “We hope that this makes them more inclined to recycle materials that they would regularly just throw away.”
Since all of the members are seniors, they have acquired knowledge about the things the school can improve on from the past four years of being at Kennedy. However, the team is looking to expand their group to all grade levels to include everyone’s input and get ideas that they might not have thought about.
“The team gives me a sense of hope that all students, like us, can make a real difference in our communities and it has impacted me by making me feel empowered to stand up for what I believe in,” Ross said.
The team is welcome to any students that want to join. Students interested in joining can contact any of the current members, or either of the advisors.
“The Green Team has showed me that there’s ways that everyone, including myself, can improve their lives so that they have less of an impact on the environment around them,” Davis said. “It’s important to me because in order to sustain a healthy planet, there are steps that humans need to take, and the Green Team has given students the platform they need to be able to take those steps.”