Roots and Shoots is an international organization developed by the Jane Goodall Institute to empower young people to make positive change happen—for the community, for animals and for the environment.

Roots and Shoots is an international organization developed by the Jane Goodall Institute to empower young people to make positive change happen—for the community, for animals and for the environment.

At Washington School, the Roots and Shoots Club, led by parent volunteers Rachel Rosner, Aleca Sullivan, and Janet Doroba, consists of 4th and 5th grade students who understand that these three goals are intertwined, and they have accomplished quite a lot this past fall.

The Washington School Roots and Shoots Club Members on their fall prairie restoration trip.

Through the Mighty Acorns program, Roots and Shoots club members collected seeds from native plants in Somme Prairie Grove in Northbrook; these seeds are given to other preserves in the Illinois area to increase biodiversity and native habitats. Two more prairie restoration trips to the woods are planned for this spring.

As part of Washington School’s Wellness Wednesday program, Roots and Shoots club members wrote and presented grade-level tailored programs to the whole school on the Three R’s:  Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, illustrating to their classmates the importance of reducing land-fill waste.

The club is leading efforts to reduce waste in the Washington School lunch room by encouraging their fellow students to recycle items like their milk cartons, and they are collecting items like juice pouches for Terracycle, a company that repurposes packaging to make items such as folders and binders.   This winter, the club is participating in the big shoe sort at SWANCC (Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County).

Roots and Shoots club members would like to urge all their fellow community members to take the following pledge: “We pledge to help take care of the earth by making less garbage. We will buy less stuff in less packaging. We will reuse materials whenever possible. We will recycle whatever we can.”

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