Every day in the United States, 25% of the population goes to school. That means that on any given day, 78.25 million people can be found in a classroom, on school grounds, or on a college campus. The condition of these environments is an integral part of a child’s learning experience. Studies have found that a school building’s condition can negatively affect achievement scores on some tests by up to 10%.
The condition of the building isn’t just something that can negatively affect children. Schools act as a community center for many. Countless organizations host meetings and forums in schools, and parents and teachers also frequent school grounds.
The dismal truth is schools are underfunded. The cost to bring public schools in the United States up to working order is roughly $271 billion. Given the current economic climate, the reality is schools will probably not be fully updated anytime in the near future, leaving millions of families with no choice but to send their children to unsustainable schools that may be adversely affecting their health and ability to succeed.
Green Apple Day of Service is a fantastic opportunity to serve schools and the community at large by fostering healthy, safe, and sustainable classrooms for our children. Through the Green Apple Day of Service, local service projects are created and executed, helping schools who may not have the resources to focus on sustainability in the classroom. These projects and volunteers, in many cases, pick up some of the slack left by restricted budgets and bureaucratic disinterest. Last year, over 1,256 school improvement projects were implemented by volunteers in all 50 states, in 49 countries, and on all seven continents.
Green Apple Day of Service calls upon volunteers to craft and execute their own service projects. Projects can be as grandiose as planting an organic garden on school grounds, or as small and simple as organizing a coffee chat with school parents to educate about the benefits of a sustainable classroom. To register a project, simply go to mygreenapple.org/dayofservice and follow the instructions.
The San Diego Green Building Council and other community members will be participating in this year’s Green Apple Day of Service. More information can be found in the Green Apple Day of Service section of our website.
Katy Sullivan is a Seattle native who has always been interested in sustainability issues. Katy has a marketing background and is very excited to be a part of Green Apple Day of Service.