The UNLESS Project
by WMS Alumni Isabel Snyder & Ariel Shweiki
As you may know, PRIED (Program for Rigor and Innovation in Education) recently participated in a contest hosted by the Philadelphia Zoo, called the UNLESS Contest. The UNLESS Contest challenges schools to create a campaign that helps their community rethink recycling.
We chose to participate in the UNLESS Contest because we love to support the environment, and we saw it as a way to help our community. We also saw it as a way to practice school-related subjects, such as writing, math, public speaking and research, in a creative way. We would like to share why we campaigned at Wilmington Montessori School, how WMS prepared us to do such a project and the results of our campaign.
Because WMS has been a very supportive community in the past, we knew that they would help us with our campaign in an effective way. While we were students at WMS, we participated in other community service projects such as building a vegetable garden, supporting a non-profit organization called Vision For and From Children, and participating in the DelawareCAN food drive. These past experiences led us to believe that WMS would be a great place to campaign, and we were right!
WMS prepared us to complete a service project like this by creating a learning environment directed toward supporting our community and helping the outside world. We learned the importance of being good citizens and helping the environment through the dedicated teachers in the WMS community. Our teachers also helped us to think creatively and develop our public speaking skills. Because of these reasons, we had the confidence to design and deliver a successful campaign.
The results of our project were unbelievable! We received a total of 1652.1 pounds in donations. Out of that number, WMS gave us a whopping 844.2 pounds, or 51 percent, of our total! Along with the amount of items you donated to us, you also helped the environment in many ways. First, you saved 3,376.8 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. You also saved 1,011,591.71 gallons of water. Additionally, you kept 422.1 pounds of fertilizers out of the soil and 21.105 pounds of pesticides out of the ground. Give yourselves a hand!
We want to thank WMS for preparing us for this project and being so supportive of our endeavors. Because of your efforts and contributions, we were chosen as one of the top five finalists in our age group. We will attend a celebration at the Philadelphia Zoo on May 12 to find out if we have won the grand prize. Regardless of where we place, we still feel like winners because we have helped both our community and the environment. To learn more, check out our blog posts about the UNLESS Project.
Isabel and Ariel have joined forces with WMS alumni Annabelle
Damude, Annika Delport, Avani Vaseduvan, Lauren Jones and Marina Garagozzo to start a non-profit business called Turtle Totes. To raise funds to help rebuild the declining sea turtle population, the girls have turned old T-shirts (many of which were donated from WMS families) into reusable shopping bags. Purchase a Turtle Tote after school in the WMS lobby on Thursday, April 30, Friday, May 8, or Friday, May 15.