Easy Reader Staff

Grandview named U.S. Green Ribbon school

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Grandview students with their trash-free lunch boxes.  Photo courtesy of Rhonda Steinberg

Grandview students with their trash-free lunch boxes. Photo courtesy of Rhonda Steinberg

Under Principal Rhonda Steinberg’s leadership, Grandview Elementary School has reduced its lunch trash from 30 bags per day to just two. The school has embraced the walking-school bus initiative, which has saved Grandview parents $366,000 on gas per year, and has implemented recycling and composting programs, according to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.

The school was recognized for its accomplishments last month, when it was named one of 78 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon schools across the nation by the Obama Administration.

“We’ve always kiddingly said we’re the greenest in the nation – and now we really are,” Steinberg said.

Grandview was one of 43 elementary schools that won the award. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a press release.

Upon finishing lunch at Grandview, students, dubbed by Steinberg as “super-sorters,” take their lunchboxes to the recycling area to sort their trash. They know what goes into the compost bin and what goes into the liquid bin. “It’s so cute, at the age of six, that they can, without thinking, throw it away within seconds into the right can,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg is proud of her students for caring about the planet. “It shows that they’re thinking outside of themselves and being aware that if we don’t take care of our planet, there won’t be much of one left when their children and grandchildren are around.”

Each grade level has planted its own garden, which includes radishes, carrots, lettuce and native plants. Twice a year, the students sell their self-grown produce at a campus farmers market. During the last farmers market, the student council made $600.

In November, the district implemented the Energy Education program, which is on target to save $250,000 this year. Grandview has implemented light sensors and installed a film on the windows to control the classroom temperature, which has helped reduce energy costs. “I think it’s pretty awesome,” Steinberg said. “We’re very proud.”

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