Students and staff at West Side Academy of Information Technology and Cyber Security say they pride themselves on taking care of the environment.
Over the past four years, the Go Green! Team and the recycling team have worked together to make permanent changes in the way the school handles energy, conserve water and the recycling of products used in the school.
"We power down four times a year, cutting off the SmartBoards and computer labs for various vacations and winter break," said Dr. Tamyra Rhodes-O'Neill, Go Green! team coordinator.
In recent years, the school earned top honors in three of the Detroit Public School Community District’s Go Green awards categories.
Those awards include a third place in the top energy savers competition, second place in the overall points earned category and first place in the water competition. This year, the team plans to compete in the 2nd annual Art Contest and the third annual Paula K. Ford Memorial Scholarship Award. The team also hopes to receive funding from manufacturer Bosch to create a gecko habitat in an unused aquarium in the school.
“Our Go Green! Team is a fantastic group of highly-motivated students who are dedicated to making both our school and the world a better place by reducing the amount of waste we produce,” said Greg Morris, Go Green! recycling coordinator and history teacher. "Each of us believes in what we are doing and we hope we serve as positive examples as to what good citizens should be doing in their daily lives to help make planet Earth a better place.”
The students in the program have weekly jobs to perform, but they have to maintain their grades and keep a good behavior record in order to participate.
“Go Green! helps seniors get their community service hours, which is a big help. I enjoy the program, and I hope more people become involved,” said senior Tahj Christian.
The Go Green! and recycling teams are always accepting new students who are interested in joining the teams, regardless of grade level.