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Grades of Green and Gelson's Earth Month Partnership


Happy Earth Month! In honor of our partnership with Grades of Green, we are featuring local students with incredible ideas in helping the planet that you can do yourself.


ACTIVITY: Used Shoe Drive 

ABOUT THE STUDENT: Sam is a senior at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California and this is his sixth year on the Youth Corps. He was one of the original 12 students that joined in 2010. Sam wants to leave the earth better than it is now for future generations. He is passionate about saving the environment and making the world a better place. He has been working with an organization, Soles4Souls, for many years and has already collected 17,000 shoes since he joined the Youth Corps. He plans to bring the students at his school together to collect shoes for those in need and hopes collect 25,000 this year. He is also on the varsity basketball team, serves as a school ambassador, and in his free time enjoys playing catch phrase. 

HOW TO BRING THE ACTIVITY HOME: If you have used shoes, donate them to Sam’s project to help divert shoes from the landfill AND give your shoes a second-life to someone in need! Drop shoes off at the Grades of Green office. 


ACTIVITY: Native Garden

ABOUT THE STUDENTS: Maxine and Elise are 6th graders at Manhattan Beach Middle School. This is their first year on the Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program, however these girls have been environmental leaders in the community for over 2 years. While at Robinson Elementary, Maxine and Elise helped lead the Grades of Green Team and rolled out No Idle Zones at their school to encourage cars to turn off their engines while waiting in pickup lines. In September 2016, they presented with Grades of Green at the California Green Schools Conference to inspire other schools to implement Grades of Green’s No Idle Zone activity as well. This year, Elise and Maxine are installing a drought tolerant garden at Manhattan Beach Middle School. They are focusing on creating a teaching garden, and have interviewed science teachers at the school to see which plants they would like planted that they could use in lessons. They are leading the garden start to finish, and have worked with the landscape architect, and even applied to multiple grants to gather the funds necessary for the garden.  

HOW TO BRING THE ACTIVITY HOME Create your own drought tolerant, native garden! It will save water, and help the local eco-system, while being beautiful. Start small by swapping water dependent plants for succulents this spring.



ABOUT THE STUDENT: Aisha is in fourth grade at Woodbury Elementary School and this is her second year on the Youth Corps. Aisha cares about the environment because if it is not clean, then plants, animals, and humans are all harmed. Last year Aisha encouraged recycling through a classroom lesson she taught. She is an incredible problem solver and knows how to take charge as a leader. In her free time, Aisha loves crafting, baking, and being with family and friends. This year, Aisha brought Grades of Green’s Green Cleaning Supplies lesson into her elementary school by showing fellow students how and why green cleaning is important. 

HOW TO BRING IT HOME: Green cleaning supplies are easy to make at home! Combined ½ cup vinegar with 1 cup water to create a natural, toxin-free all-purpose cleaner for your home. 


ACTIVITY: Banning single-use plastic straws 

ABOUT THE STUDENT: Cosmo is a freshman at Long Beach Polytechnic High School. This is his second year on the Youth Corps. Cosmo is very passionate about preserving the environment and believes that the future of our society depends on the youth. He wishes to further educate himself and others to take better care of our environment. Cosmo is interested in technology, art, and the auto industry. He is also a member of the cross-country team at his school. 

HOW TO BRING IT HOME: Straws are made of thin plastic, which cannot be recycled and easily ends up in our Reduce your use of single use plastics! Avoid straws, or opt for keeping a reusable straw with you. 



ACTIVITY: Meatless Meals 

ABOUT THE STUDENT: Johanna is in seventh grade at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, California. This is Johanna’s third year on the Youth Corps and she enjoys being known as someone who helps take care of the planet and all the living things on it. Johanna loves living by the ocean and thinks that it’s her and everyone’s responsibility to keep it clean and healthy. She wants to protect our oceans and the wildlife because she enjoys giving back to the Earth. Johanna is a member of her school’s Student Council and enjoys being a leader on campus and making a difference. In her free time she likes to play volleyball, basketball, piano, and doing musical theatre. For her Grades of Green Activity, Johanna would like research and advocate about benefits of being vegan. 

HOW TO BRING IT HOME: Cut back on your consumption of meat by going meatless one day a week! Follow Grades of Green on social media to see our favorite vegetarian recipes for meatless Mondays.



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