District News Item
August 19 , 2008
For immediate release
Kelly Creek Elementary wins contest for eco-friendly school makeover
Gresham-Barlow school will receive green makeover worth $250,000
Kelly Creek Elementary School is the winner of Ford Motor Company’s Educate to Escape—a green school makeover campaign in partnership with ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” With the help of Ford, Kelly Creek Elementary can look forward to increasing sustainability in their playground and surroundings and will receive up to $250,000 towards the eco-friendly makeover. The renovation of Kelly Creek Elementary School begins this month.
Students, parents, community members, school staff, and teachers were invited to nominate schools for Ford’s Educate to Escape contest. Entrants were asked to submit a brief essay about why their school deserves an eco-friendly makeover. Kelly Creek Elementary school is already passionate about recycling - many students are enthusiastic members of the ‘Aardvark’ recycling action team, and help take responsibility for recycling and teaching younger students about sustainability. Kelly Creek Elementary was nominated by head custodian, Christa Garman. In her entry, she wrote, “Having opened in 1993, we quickly implemented an award winning recycling plan that has been recognized by the local community. The recycling program coupled with our energy conservation efforts has helped our school district maintain its status as a national leader in energy savings.”
As well as reducing solid waste by over 60% by encouraging recycling of all possible materials, the school’s Aardvark team of ‘green kids’ spread the word by hosting school assemblies, giving talks at other nearby schools to sing recycling songs and talk about their programs, and attend the yearly Oregon Green Summit to learn more about sustainability and living green.
To kick off their green makeover, Kelly Creek Elementary will receive a playground overhaul – redesigning the children’s outdoor play area to make it both sustainable and kid-friendly. Local volunteers will help install green-friendly rubber matting tiles, created from recycled tires and uniquely designed to cushion any falls from the playground equipment, and underlay it piece by piece. In addition, two playground jungle gyms will be replaced with brand new structures, designed and built out of recycled plastic and metal materials. These renovations are particularly welcome to Kelly Creek Elementary’s disabled students– the new equipment will be fully ADA-accessible, allowing all students to enjoy the green-friendly and sustainable playground.
“Green living has always been a priority at Kelly Creek Elementary, and the students and staff were thrilled to be picked by Ford and the Extreme Makeover team to win this makeover” said Bob Goerke, principal of Kelly Creek Elementary. “We’re excited to unveil our new sustainable playground and to spread the message about green living to other schools across the U.S.”
“We are pleased to make an impact on Kelly Creek Elementary through this green makeover,” said Ford Motor Company Brand Content & Alliance Manager Connie Fontaine. “Ford’s commitment to lessen our overall impact on the planet with our products and our manufacturing plants has now been taken to the educational front. Our hope is the Educate to Escape campaign will encourage schools nationally to think about what ‘green’ additions or changes (big or small) can be made to their own campuses.”
“This campaign is a wonderful extension of our on-going partnership with Ford,” said John Sadler, senior vice president of integrated marketing and sales for ABC. “Our Extreme Home families have benefited from Ford’s generosity, now so will a larger community.”