Congratulations to the Green Team Superheroes of Wilmot Elementary for receiving the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). This prestigious award is an honor given by both the President of the United States and the EPA to recognize outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. Each year, the PEYA program awards just ten projects in the K-5 category nationally and this year, the Wilmot Elementary Green Team Superheroes are among the recipients. This exemplary team of thirteen 4th and 5th grade students has demonstrated hands-on, real-world problem-solving and leadership skills that have put their school at the forefront of sustainability. Week after week, all Green Team Superhero members contributed to and collaborated for what has become an inspirational part of Wilmot Elementary. As a prize, the Green Team Superheroes have been invited to an awards ceremony in Washington D.C. where they will receive a plaque honoring them as PEYA winners. Please consider donating towards travel expenses here so the Green Team Superheroes can proudly represent Evergreen and Colorado at our nation’s capital.
The Green Team Superheroes also achieved the highest Eco-Schools USA award, the Green Flag Award. This top Eco-Schools award is given to those who show excellence in completing three Eco-Schools USA Pathways to Sustainable Development. Out of the 114 registered Eco-Schools in Colorado, Wilmot is among only ten schools that have reached this level. The Green Team Superheroes follow a proven method of data collection and analysis when they conduct audits, deliver presentations, advise the principal on action plans that they will use to lead and monitor their classrooms during school wide sustainability contests. By following the Eco-School’s Pathways, they have lowered the school’s energy use by more than $1300, reduced the amount of waste while recycling more, and educated their peers on healthy eating habits. It’s these actions that have led to the Green Flag award.
Not only have the Green Team Superheroes received these prestigious awards, but their reach expands beyond the halls of their school. Recently, they were invited to EAS+Y’s Zero Waste Forum where the team delivered the opening remarks in front of about 60 adults, including local experts and a Colorado State Representative! It’s at this event that State Representative Lisa Cutter invited the team to visit the Colorado State Capitol. During this visit, they were recognized by Lisa Cutter and the Colorado House of Representatives during a legislative session. Also during their Capitol visit, Colorado’s First Gentleman Marlon Reis sat down and talked to the Green Team Superheroes about their accomplishments. After that meeting both Marlon Reis and Lisa Cutter were “green caped” and became official members of the Green Team Superheroes.
The team also took a field trip to the National Renewable Energy Lab where they learned how to build their own wind turbine and toured the facility. They collaborated overseas by sharing video messages with a group of elementary age students from outside London. They took on and battled waste pollution with the other local elementary school and staffed a booth during the school’s Science Family Night. You could also find the Green Team Superheroes displaying their achievements during EAS+Y’s Earth Fair, presenting to the High School Environmental Science classes, handing out reusable grocery bags at the local supermarket as part of EAS+Y’s BagIt Campaign, and helping another area Green Team present for the first time. They have been featured in the local press and on blogs for the school district and Eco-School USA, spreading their message that together: we can make a difference!