Sewanee Elementary School was recently recognized for its school environmental program as one of the 10 winners of the 2017 Good Sports Always Recycle™ (GSAR) school challenge. Sewanee was awarded $1,000, and Kim and Scott Tucker represented the school as the winners and were recognized on the field at the University of Tennessee versus Southern Miss football game.
“Teaching our students to be good stewards of our environment is vital for the sustainability of the earth,” said Kim Tucker, principal at Sewanee Elementary School. “Beginning this during their early years allows us to instill the recycling mindset as students are forming their thoughts and opinions about everything they encounter.”
This is the 24th year for the competition, and the 2017 winning schools included Saint Dominic Catholic School and John Adams Elementary School, Kingsport; South Lawrence School, Loretto; The Farm School, Summertown; Norris Middle School, Norris; Sewanee Elementary School, Sewanee; Gallatin Senior High School, Gallatin; and Haynesfield Elementary School, Bristol. South Knoxville Elementary School was honored as the Best New Program, and Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga received the Sustainability Steward Award.
Sewanee recycles items including plastic, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard. The school utilizes motion sensor lights to conserve energy, and many students walk or bike to school to reduce emissions.
Additionally, the school established its “Tigers Don’t Leave Tracks” program to encourage reusable bags, and local businesses have supported the program by promoting reusable bags, and through donations and prizes.
The school also recently held a lunch audit to teach students about food waste, reusables, recyclables and compostables, and today the school focuses on litterless lunch. Sewanee is working with University of the South to assist with its litterless lunch audit.
The GSAR program, which is sponsored by Eastman, Waste Connections and Food City, in cooperation with the University of Tennessee, has awarded more than $160,000 to K-12 schools in Tennessee for their environmental programs.
The GSAR program also includes an online educational packet, available at , which helps teachers with lesson plans as well as gives ideas for schools looking to establish or strengthen their programs.