Loker Rep: we do NOT have a Loker rep at the moment. Please contact us if you are interested in this fantastic role!
All Wayland children start their public school education at Loker, which is exclusively Kindergarten. This gives us a unique opportunity to start them off on the path of sustainability. It is important to empower and educate children as soon as environmental concerns start to figure in their lives. They are not too young to help and make a difference, or to appreciate our efforts to green their school through deep recycling, reduction of waste and pollution, green purchasing, chemical cleanout, and other projects.
Loker children are at an age when they are keenly aware of what they can do for their planet and future. If we can give them a sensibility of stewardship at this stage, the schools that they will go to next will also benefit from their good habits.
School Year 2010-2011 Accomplishments
Recycling at Loker was already well underway before the Green Team Task Force was formed. There were paper and container recycling bins in each classroom, along with a system - involving a concerted effort by teachers children and custodians - to clear them out every evening.
So by Fall 2010 recycling at Loker was well under way. The system needed only a little tweaking: we sorted out some uncertainties about what “comingled” means and added a bin or two to make things easier.
The one gap in the Loker recycling system was the cafeteria. Due to the students' young age, no recycling had been attempted there. The Green Team worked with the principal, Brian Jones, and Roger Pelligrini (custodian) and Pauline Chin (Food services) to set up a system in December 2010. During the first week the Principal introduced the new system to the children, and the Green Team came in to “man” the recycling station and answer the kids’ questions. We also worked with Roger to organize the order and placement of the new bins and, on the other end, the pickup by the town.Because a lot of food and straws were ending up in the spill bucket, Kathy Hodge from BASE constructed a large display which pictorially shows what goes where, and this seems to have cleared up the problem. By 2011 all was now running smoothly.
The kids now empty their left-over milk and juice in a spill bucket, then throw the milk cartons and yogurt cups in the recycling bin, and dump their polysterene trays, all other containers, and left-over food in the trash barrel.
What's next for Loker?
Understanding the challenge of the one-year turn-around of parent-volunteers at Loker, I have decided to stay on as the Loker GT representative for next year, with the support of the Principal and teachers. One of my first goals will be to get more involvement of teachers/staff so that there will be more continuity of Green programs and so that it will be easier for new parent volunteers to engage.
If your child will be at Loker next year, please get in touch and volunteer your help and advice by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Green Team wants to fine tune the lunchroom situation, where a lot of recyclables continue to escape into the waste stream. We will also expand recycling to all comingled containers, including all the plastic cups for salad, dips and sauces, and juice containers. Fall 2011 will also see the addition of a new, colorful recycling station in the cafeteria.
Thanks to the Green Team the Wayland School district is on its way to composting all of its food waste and using the compost in school gardens. The pilot for this exciting milestone program is Claypit Hill, but there is no reason why Loker shouldn't start laying the foundations. The first thing to do is to ramp up support with the Loker community. Several teachers have already shown interest. Fall 2011 will see efforts to start composting of snack leftovers in worm bins. We'll also have two composting bins, donated by the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection, behind the cafeteria to absorb kitchen organic waste. We might even trial the collection of food scraps in the cafeteria.
Also in conjunction with the overall trend in our schools, we want to start looking for an alternative to the polystyrene trays at Loker.
We want to promote tap water with kids and teachers. The water at the schools is tested on a monthly basis and is absolutely safe to drink. We would also like to evaluate the faculty lunchroom Poland Springs system.
We also want to promote the purchase of post-consumer recycled paper, and the reduction of paper usage (virgin and recycled).