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Wednesday, November 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Help build an educational garden and composting site at Mt. Spokane High School

Have you heard about the Pepsi Refresh Project?  Maybe you've been asked to vote for something on Facebook, or Twitter, or someone send you an email asking for their help?  What it is, is a grants scheme providing millions of dollars to fund good ideas, big and small, that make the world a better place. Pepsi has up to $1.3 million in Refresh grants (Pepsi’s alternative to spending on television advertising during the Super Bowl earlier this year) to give out every month, ranging from $5,000 through to $250,000.  And DTE is committed to making sure at least one of those grants ends up here in Spokane.  Grants are given out by how many votes the ideas get - with the top ten ideas in each category getting grants.


Ryan Campanella, Biology teacher at Mt Spokane High School would love to use gardening and composting to teach students about various science concepts, and he has applied for a Refresh grant to do such.  According to the Good Idea page of Campanella's proposal, it is his dream to make Mt Spokane more ecologically responsible by reducing the waste stream and teaching students the importance of eating locally.  Campanella is in pursuit of a $25,000 grant that would go towards a greenhouse and watering system, gardening tools and construction, and seeds, plants, potting materials, and more.  Campanella's idea is currently in 15th place, needing to crack the top ten to receive the funding.  Voting ends March 31st - meaning there's only a half a month to go.  Wouldn't it be great for local school kids to be learning about  energy efficiency, water conservation, organic foods, and healthy eating habits at a young age?  And wouldn't it be great for Mt Spokane to be leading the way?  Yes it would - and you can help make that a reality.


Here's an overview of the grant:

Students learn better by actively doing science, not by reading about it in a textbook.  I want to instill a love for science through gardening/composting and increase awareness of locally grown food.  Students will be engaged in learning activities that would include topics of environmental awareness, energy efficiency, water conservation, organic foods, and healthy eating habits.  Food grown from the garden will be used in the school cafeteria, given to low-income families or used in science class as a "kitchen chemistry" unit.  I want to encourage our high school to reduce our waste stream by composting cafeteria waste etc.  If proven successful, I hope to create gardens/composting sites throughout our school district.  I have been recently inspired by the movie "Food, Inc." and learning about permaculture.  I feel obligated to teach the youth of our nation how to be responsible stewards of our planet and how to be problem-solvers for our future.

We were contacted by one of Campanella's students, a freshman at MSHS, about this grant and about how important this would be for her school.  "This will help we the students to learn better by actively doing science." she wrote us. "I believe that it would be a really cool idea to learn more about science through gardening/composting and increase awareness of locally grown food.  The garden and composting site will help us to learn about environmental awareness, energy efficiency, water conservation, organic foods, and healthy eating habits. Food grown from the garden will be used in the school cafeteria, given to low-income families or used in science class as a "kitchen chemistry" unit. By Mr. Campanella wanting to use this way of hands on teaching we will be helping our school out in the long run."

Thanks to the outreach efforts of this student, we were made aware of this great opportunity.  And also thanks to her, we were put in contact with the man behind the grant, Ryan Campenella.  Stay tuned later in the week as we'll post our conversation with Campenella in regards to his Refresh grant and how it all started.



 



Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.