Making a difference

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Inspired by a PBS documentary on the devastating effects plastic has on the environment, fourth-graders at Phillips Avenue Elementary School in the Riverhead Central School District decided to take action and make a difference. 

The students kicked off their mission by drafting letters to the district’s administrators, including Food Services Manager Keith Graham. They wrote about their concern over the use of single-use plastic items supplied as part of the school’s daily breakfast service. They specifically asked for cardboard juice boxes and compostable utensils. 

Their request was immediately met with affirmation that more can be done, and the district is working with suppliers to bring in more environmentally friendly juice containers.  

In the meantime, the students took it upon themselves to start using reusable silverware and straws during their school meals. They hope that their actions will motivate other classes and schools to do the same.