Wolves Award School for Thinking Green

Wolves Award School for Thinking Green

Lauren Lang
Wolves Writer

In an effort to promote awareness and creativity My29 and the Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation teamed up to create a go "green" contest for schools in the Twin Cities metro area. More than 50 schools submitted essays on how their school supports going "green" along with plans and programs they wish to instill at their school or environmentally sound initiatives that they currently have in place.

The Think Green Award was presented to Highlands Elementary in Edina in front of more than 500 unsuspecting students, teachers and parents during a morning assembly. Dawn Mitchell, Sports Anchor for Fox 9 was on hand to deliver the big surprise. Students grew impatient and began chanting, "What's going on?!" as they waited for the secret to be unveiled. To help with the announcement Mitchell invited in a surprise guest and the children screamed with delight as Crunch, the fun-loving Timberwolves mascot tore through the gymnasium.

"Oh my gosh the kids were just crazy excited! It's just so fun to see them high-fiving the teachers and the parents, and then when Crunch came out it was just, oh my gosh, it was just amazing," recalled Cheryl Dulas a parent volunteer. "The sound in here, the noise, was just phenomenal and they were so excited and high-fiving him and screaming and clapping and everything."

Mitchell and Crunch revealed to the school that due to their efforts on going "green" they were the recipients of a thousand dollar check, 290 Timberwolves game tickets and a "Green Wolfie" trophy all from the FastBreak Foundation. On top of that, during all of the excitement the children, parents and faculty were being filmed for a future My29 commercial.

Highlands Principal Peter Hodne explained some of the schools current "green" initiatives. "We have the TerraCycle (program), organic food recycling at lunch, organic food recycling and just general recycling in the classrooms, we also have a lot of natural outdoor play areas - a couple that we've built. We have a vegetable garden that we built and a rain garden. There are a lot of different things and a lot of different uses, so we just have to see where that thousand dollars that will help in a great way for us and decide the best place for that to go."

After the initial excitement and the revealing of prizes, a few teachers and parents were brought up in front of the entire school to be recognized for their efforts in seeing that the "green" programs created at Highlands were followed through.

Principal Hodne was the first to admit that the children were the driving force behind the schools "green" initiatives. "You know they really love it and kids are passionate about it. They're doing Husky Haulers, which is basically they go around and help with the recycling at lunch, and they're willing to give up their recess a day a week just to do that, because they feel passionate about it. I think that's a great clue as to what they feel."
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