The Orrington Elementary School PTA has launched a new Green Team to tackle recycling and other environmental initiatives at the school.

Team member-teachers Shyan-Mei Wang, Amy Kipfer, Elisa Gall, and Missy Hedges are putting a major focus on the many ways, large and small, students and staff can reduce and recycle trash. The Green Team kicked off the year by replacing bottled water. The PTA provides for teachers with individual tumblers.

The group is currently formulating a No Waste plan, aimed squarely at lunchtime. According to Wang, “The lunchroom is one of the major garbage production points at school.” The Team wants to encourage parents to pack food in reusable containers. They’re also designing a recycling plan for the lunchroom that doesn’t add more work for the staff, and are evaluating the effectiveness of the recycling dumpsters currently outside the school.

The Team will use workshops and activities to educate teachers and students about No Waste. “We may need to use different strategies for the younger and older students,” Wang says.

Wang, whose environmental awareness was awakened as a child in Taiwan when she saw video of local landslides, believes that using electronic media and drama is a great way to engage students in the recycling effort. “Movies like Wall-E have a wonderful environmental message for kids,” she points out. Because many Green Team initiatives will require funding, the Team is actively pursuing grants for its projects.

If you’d like to learn more about the Green Team, email

Walker Elementary School
On Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m., Walker School will host a Winter Show featuring the Walker School’s second and third grade chorus. The students will perform compositions that include “Manx Lullaby” arranged by Dolloff with Ms. Beth Lindley on flute; “Circle ‘Round the Moon” by Hierholzer; “Pat-a-Pan” arranged by Beck and “Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights” by Gallina. For more information, contact the school at 847 859-8330.

Oakton Elementary School
On Thursday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m., Oakton School hosts its Kwanzaa Program. This community-event concert celebrates Kwanzaa and the traditions of African heritage and culture. The event is organized by the teachers in the African-Centered Curriculum program for the enjoyment and participation of Oakton School students and families. For more information, call 847 859-8800.

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