Earth Day Is Every Day at PHS

PHS students create reusable bags with pointillist style painting and identify various recyclable plastics as part of the PRIDE learning program.

Pawling High School’s PRIDE class makes every day Earth Day with several plastic-reducing projects that have become part of Pawling High School’s everyday life. The PRIDE program is aimed at expanding the language skills of students across a variety of subjects including Earth Science.

“We created our second round of reusable canvas bags for Earth Day,” says Stacy Dumont, PRIDE teacher. “The first round of designs was used for holiday gifts.” The PRIDE students are environmental stewards as they move plastics from classrooms to recycling dumpsters regularly. Students then take the returnables to the local Hannaford supermarket and use the money from the returnables for groceries used in their classrooms. They are also repurposing gallon plastic containers into bird houses. “Each project has many vital learning components and is a culmination of a large unit on the topic,” Dumont explains.

Dumont also points to the project the school is doing in conjunction with Crayola company’s sustainable initiative “ColorCycle,” with PRIDE running the program throughout the district. The students are collecting used markers from students and classrooms to recycle them with Crayola. The handicraft company even covers the postage for transporting the markers back to their facilities for recycling. “The students are gaining an understanding of how the habits of our daily lives connect to plastic pollution on the other side of the world,” says Dumont.

“It’s important that we recycle, reuse, reduce, refuse and remove to help the earth,” Dumont’s students say. “We need to take action now so animals don’t die and so the ocean doesn’t become overflowing with plastics.”

Content provided by Pawling Central School District.