Jackson promotes enviromental awarenessFriday, May 04, 2007 By Rosie Paterson
Community service encompasses not only helping other people, but aiding the environment as well. Here at RHS, there is an Environmental Club advised by science teacher Chris Carman and run by junior Sarah Jackson, the only consistently dedicated member. This year, the club’s largest achievement has been organizing recycling at the school. Jackson and Carman worked together with the recycling company to get bins and establish a system for recycling. “It took some time because there were a lot of little details to work out,” Jackson said. Today, the system is working well. Every Monday during morning announcements, a student from each classroom is asked to bring the bins down to the cafeteria so that the recycling may be gathered and dumped into the large bin outside. This student involvement is helpful as the club itself has few members. The biggest goal Jackson has for next year is recruitment. Despite numerous flyers and speeches at class assemblies, numbers have been low. Jackson hopes to find ways to creatively recruit students and keep them coming with a consistent event that the members can participate in. This way, the club can promote active participation rather than be focused on the responsibility of attending meetings. Jackson is also involved with Standing Rock Cultural Arts, an organization that is similarly focused on promoting participation among young people in the community through hands-on activities as well as bringing the community together. Jeff Ingram, co-manager of the Water St. Gallery, heads the program. Standing Rock Cultural Arts sponsors events at the Kent Stage, puts on a short film festival, has an art gallery, and runs various workshops. Another part of Standing Rock Cultural Arts is its Youth Theatre program in which kids use recycled materials to create a theatre set and then put on a play. They meet at least every Saturday to work. Jackson attends to help manage the kids and keep them on track. Jackson is educating herself in yet another way through her attendance of an Environmental Health Class at KSU. Through this class, Jackson was recently able to meet with the Environmental Council of Kent. This group was formed around the idea of making the Cuyahoga River the centerpiece of Kent and it has worked on developing recycling in order to raise money to fix up the park by the river downtown. Jackson hopes to get ideas from meeting with the council. “We talked about what makes the organization effective,” Jackson said. Next year, Jackson wants to focus on connecting the school and community through a community calendar she hopes to create in the cafeteria as well as by giving out flyers.