Every St. Michael’s community member would have been proud this past Wednesday evening to see a group of our sixth graders present their concerns about plastics in the environment to the Newport City Council.  Each student went up to the dais one at a time and spoke into the microphone facing the  the full entourage of council members.  They made clear their conviction that if we don’t begin addressing the issues of plastics in the environment now, their future and the future of their generation was at risk.  The council members were clearly moved by their speeches and approved the initial phase of the ban discussion unanimously!  Special thanks to their teachers Mimi Carrellas and Lauren Magruder who seized a wonderful opportunity to give our students real life, meaningful experiences.  The students were all smiles afterwards, empowered by the reality that their voices made a difference.

The Newport Daily News covered the City Council meeting and featured our students in the article.

Perhaps the speakers that garnered the most attention were several sixth-graders from St. Michael’s Country Day School who introduced themselves with only their first names.
Austin explained how plastic coagulates into great floating “garbage patches” that cover large swaths of the oceans.”The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the size of Texas,” he said.
“Now, 100 billion plastic bags go to the American consumer each year,” Anne said.
 “The plastic in the oceans does not go away,” Allie said. “It breaks down to become micro-particles that get into the food chain.”  Read the full NDN article

Ban the Bag – presenting to Middletown Town Council

Middle school students Dario B., Giacomo B., Ali V., Anna M., and Hope S. attended the Middletown Planning Board meeting on Wednesday this past week to present their case for banning plastic bags in Middletown.  This is the second foray into politics for these students who have built a strong case for better monitoring the impact of plastics on our beach community.
The Planning Board showed a genuine interest in our students’ perspectives on the issue.  The Planning Board now sends the plastic bag ban to the Middletown Town Council where students are hoping for a positive vote.