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Partnering with the community for environmental awareness during Earth Month

April 2011 - Hundreds of students submitted entries for National Grid’s Power of Action art contest in April. The contest, in partnership with the Green Education Foundation (GEF), called on New England and New York elementary school students to illustrate how people can work together to protect the planet. The winning design is featured on t-shirts worn by hundreds of National Grid employees during the company’s Earth Day clean-up efforts across the region.

After thousands of votes from National Grid employees, Nikolos Pinto, a fourth-grader from Winsor Hill School of Johnston, Rhode Island, was chosen as the New England winner. The Winsor Hill School received a $250 cash award for school supplies and t-shirts featuring the winning design. As a special treat, Nikolos and his entire class wore their shirts on April 29 at Fenway Park during the National-Grid sponsored Earth Month celebration Red Sox game. Victoria Waters, president and founder of the Green Education Foundation (pictured below at the game with Tim Horan and her son), threw out the first pitch.

“The Power of Action t-shirt design contest provided an educational, yet fun and creative way, for students to learn how we can all work together to protect the planet’s valuable resources,” said Donna Pringle, a fourth grade art teacher at Winsor Hill School. “The kids were thrilled to learn that one of their peers won.”

“National Grid is proud to see that students like Nikolos, his classmates and everyone who entered, are thinking about the environment in such a positive way, and how the decisions they make will impact the future,” said Tim Horan, National Grid’s Rhode Island president. “Nikolos’s artwork will, undoubtedly, inspire us all during the next couple of weeks as we help clean up the communities in which we live and work. Earth Day gives us all the opportunity to celebrate our commitment to the environment through special community projects like this.”

Jackie Jenkins, a fourth grader from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School of Utica, New York was voted the New York design winner. Jackie appeared on the local television news and in the Utica Daily News as she was recognized during an event on April 27 at the school.

"The students took what they knew about energy and the environment and then put it in a pictorial to really show how we should be stewards of the earth," said National Grid’s Melanie Littlejohn, Director, Community and Customer Management for Central New York. “Fourth-grade Jackie showed us that it’s never too early to learn these sustainability lessons.”

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School also received a $250 cash award for school supplies in addition to t-shirts for Jackie’s class featuring her winning design.

The Green Education Foundation (GEF) and National Grid partnered in 2010 to launch the Power of Action contest as a creative approach to kids coming up with solutions to solve environmental challenges through art. National Grid also sponsors GEF’s Green Energy Challenge with nearly 300,000 schools participating nationwide. The Green Energy Challenge is the largest school-based energy efficiency campaign to-date coupling sustainability lessons with hands-on audits.

Sustainability education is an integrative teaching model that connects student knowledge of environmental, economic and societal systems with real-world applied learning strategies. Sustainability education helps develop the vision and habits necessary to build a sustainable future.

Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Download, share, and comment on hundreds of sustainability lessons in GEF's K-12 lesson clearinghouse! Find the right lesson, activity or audit for your students by searching by grade level and subject area. Access is unlimited and free to GEF members!

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"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi