Changing Culture from the Ground Up

Student Green Team: Rebekah Chou at West Tualatin View –

What is the best way to get kids involved in their food and eating greens? Farm to table, Eco-School style! By having her student green team plant, harvest, cook and serve kale to their friends, Rebekah did just that. A parent had constructed raised beds on the school grounds, and a local Boy Scout troop had planted kale. The green team students watered, weeded and then harvested the greens. Some of the kids worked with the cafeteria staff to wash the kale and bake it into chips, and the rest of the green team then served it at lunchtime. Rebekah heard from parents whose kids don’t usually eat green vegetables that they loved the kale!

Rebekah had a history of engaging kids to help “green” their school, and the excitement showed! When she first started her student green team, so many kids responded that she decided to have them apply for a spot. The 28 members participated in a wide variety of projects including class waste reduction competitions, Walk-to-School Day, and Zero-Waste-Lunch Day. Besides gardening, a couple of the most engaging were the cafeteria composting program and the Eco-Fair.

The 4th and 5th graders helped get two Metro compost bins, and the green team began separating the cafeteria food scraps. Each day pairs of students monitored the separation and carried the bucket out to the bins. The students educated the younger kids about the importance of composting with skits, games and other activities. The Eco-Fair is a celebration for Earth Day including a recycling relay, recycled craft/art table, a spinning wheel from Metro, and a chance to make a green pledge and take home a potted sunflower.

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