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Menlo School Wins Earth Day Challenge

Sacred Heart Schools challenged Menlo School to see which one could get the most students to commute to their campus via alternative modes of transportation.

After almost an entire school year of preparation, Menlo School is walking away with the trophy.

Sacred Heart Preparatory has to present it to them.

The two schools celebrated Earth Day this year by competing with each other in an Earth Day Challenge. 

Each school encouraged students to take alternative modes of transportation to get to class such as scooters, bikes, and the old fashioned pata-mobile. (That’s Spanglish for feet.)   

Every time a student engaged in one of those activities, they earned a point worth $1.00 that went toward two local community service and environmental programs, said Jill Kasser, communication director for Menlo Schools

Menlo School pulled out all the stops to win the challenge, creating an incentive program to use public transportation. They also partnered with Zimride to help their community members find other people with whom they could car pool, becoming Zimride’s first independent school partner. 

The proceeds from the Upper School’s efforts will go to Hidden Villa, a non-profit organic farm and environmental educational center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The money will also help pay for field trips at Taft Elementary in Redwood City.

The winner of this competition, which ended on April 19, wins honor, a trophy, and a tree that will bear the school’s name for all eternity. Canopy, a Palo Alto-based, non-profit that plants trees in the Bay Area, will be providing the sapling. Menlo emerged victorious with 58 percent of students participating, while only 35 percent of Sacred Heart Preparatory students participated.

Although Sacred Heart Schools lost this competition, Millie Lee, SHP’s director of communications, says the residual impacts of their efforts will be a positive thing for the environment.

“We will continue to encourage students to consider using these transportation modes afterwards and have created a map and tips to help students and parents find the best biking and walking paths to our school,” Lee said.  “We hope students will discover the rewards and benefits that these new ways to come to school will have for the environment.”


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Gregory April 24, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Public schools should follow suit.

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