Students send support to Michigan

Students send support to Michigan
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP) interns at La Costa Heights Elementary School, the main site for the Encinitas Union School District program, proudly display the $1,000 check they are sending to students in Flint, Mich. alongside their program instructor, Camille Sowinski. The students fundraised the $1,000 in one month by talking to all classes about the crisis and encouraging their classmates to bring loose change for the collection jar labeled “Money for Flint, Michigan.” The fifth- and sixth-grade interns also actively engaged in educating their fellow students throughout the school year about stormwater and brainstormed solutions on how to prevent pollution in the five storm drains located on the LCH campus. Courtesy photo

ENCINITAS — La Costa Heights Elementary School fifth- and sixth-grade interns of the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP), took the initiative to fundraise for students affected by the water pollution in Flint, Mich. Camille Sowinski, program instructor at LCH, said these actions made by the students “do not come as a surprise” as the school “is noted for its strong leadership program.”

The SWPPP interns began the fundraiser on Feb. 25 and placed a large collection jar labeled “Money for Flint, Michigan” in every classroom.

The interns also spoke to all classes to educate their fellow students about the crisis in Flint, and encouraged their fellow students to bring loose change from home. In four weeks, La Costa Heights had raised $1,000 to send to distressed students in Flint, along with notes of encouragement. Sowinski said the fifth and sixth graders “planned and executed every aspect of the fundraiser oThroughout the year, the SWPP interns met at lunch once a week to discuss and learn about stormwater runoff at the school and to study the best management practices of the water. The group of 22 “compassionate” students collected rainwater flowing into the drains once a month and would send the runoff samples to Encina Wastewater Plan for testing.

The San Diego Green Building Council caught word of the efforts made by the SWPPP interns at LCH and the students ended up winning the Green Schools Challenge award. According to its web site, the Green Schools Challenge is a “friendly competition” where schools “develop a sustainable project.” LCH was chosen out of 10 other schools competing to win the Challenge.

Alex Hansen is a Coast News Intern.

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