For the last six weeks, STRIVE Preparatory students at the Westwood Campus have been a part of the Cottonwood Institute Mini-CAP program. For the final two weeks of their project, these middle school students joined an organization called N.O.W. (Neptune Ocean Warriors). This organization was started by students at Excel High School. This organization is helping make a fee of twenty-five cents for each plastic bag used in Denver. These steps are being taken to prevent more plastic in the ocean.
Students learned, discovered, and experienced a lot of fun as they worked to get rid of plastic bags to help out our ocean animals and our water. A week ago, they started to sell bags and water bottles with a N.O.W. logo on them in their school. They also went around their community to get people to sign their petition. The class joined this program because they wanted to sell reusable bags and reusable water bottles so people don’t have to waste plastic bags and plastic water bottles. Less than 1% of these materials are being recycled and plastic bags are over-used. Using plastic and paper bags affect the ocean as well as local water-ways and scenery. Part of their challenge was to sell the most bags and water bottles and get the most signatures. With enough signatures they hope to send the petition to the mayor and enforce a twenty-five cents fee for each plastic and paper bag.
One student said of her experience with this project, “I loved my time here, I loved helping out my community.”
In addition to their project, the class participated in an overnight camping trip in the Front Range. Going to Camp Wondervu was amazing
because the class got to make a snow igloo. Another thing they practiced was making fire with cotton balls, vaseline, and flint and steel. They also experienced sleeping outside where “it was freezing cold”! Students said it was a really great time with their friends and they enjoyed having the time to get away from all of their electronics. They enjoyed being able to just relax and sit back and enjoy all the wonderful things of nature. It was a joy to be with Cottonwood and be free from the indoors and enjoy themselves, and they did.
Thanks to our great instructor Jessi Burg and the STRIVE collaborating teacher for making this a fantastic experience for another group of STRIVE Prep middle schoolers.
This article was written by STRIVE Westwood students and edited by Madeline Bachner.