Middle School Students Tell LAUSD: No More Styrofoam! Middle School Students Tell LAUSD: No More Styrofoam!

Middle School Students Tell LAUSD: No More Styrofoam!

by Alissa Walker

April 11, 2011

It wasn't until they dissected an albatross stomach that Ann Holtzinger's sixth-grade students at Thomas Starr King Middle School truly understood what was happening with the trash they were throwing away every day at lunch. "We found bottle caps," a student named Sook says.  "We learned not to litter plastic because fish might eat it. Once we eat it, we get the chemicals in our bodies." That is just one of the reasons the sixth grader is a vegetarian, she informs me.

But the triumphant tower wasn't all that Miller had planned for the students. As they stood in a circle, snapping photos of their styro-creation with their own cell phones, he presented them with another gift: brightly colored, reusable plastic trays. "How many of you would use this instead of a Styrofoam tray?" he asked. Their eyes lit up and their hands shot into the air. "Yeah!" they cheered. "Me!" Believe it: sixth graders, jumping up and down, shrieking with enthusiasm over a reusable lunch tray. You would have thought it was autographed by Justin Bieber.

It's not a perfect tray, Miller acknowledged, in that it's still plastic. But it would make this class leaders within the school, allowing them to tell the story to their fellow students about why they don't use Styrofoam trays. "It's their own choice," he said. "They have the experience and knowledge now, and we empowered them to make a change."

Volunteer for an upcoming project at Farm King

Read the Farm King school garden blog

Encourage your LAUSD board member to ditch styrofoam

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Middle School Students Tell LAUSD: No More Styrofoam!