For the first time, students and staff welcomed an informative and important event on the school grounds of Sotomayor Center For Arts and Science on Saturday, April 28. LA River School hosted their first Environmental Summit. Many projects and workshops were related to the environment. It’s not a topic many discuss but with the help of LARS, it will. For many, the event gave further information and action to what’s going on in their Glassell Park community.
“I would recommend coming to this event because people get to learn and take action when it comes to being about the environment,” junior America Sandoval said.
LARS was very busy on a Saturday, which is not so ordinary. There were many people roaming around, tent stands that were propped through the school’s area, a stage small in size that was included and tables and chairs and food and snacks being served.
The Environmental Summit had participation from students of all grade levels and staff from LARS, the community and groups that focus on the community, environment and gentrification throughout different neighborhoods. The Environmental Summit event included projects and work being showcased, a production preview for a play called “Hair” (hosted by SoHDA, Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academy) and workshops.
The students had a very important responsibility to showcase the projects they have been working really hard on. Projects were different based upon grade level and class subject. For example, sophomores had a project based upon making food that were sustainable and juniors showcased an project about bettering and improving the LA River.
While the students had a significant role throughout the event, the community had a way to join in with the high school event and topic of the environment as well. In different classrooms, there were a variety of workshops to participate in. Some of the workshops that were included were Tree Planting by Grown in LA, CA High Speed Rail Authority and DIY Household Cleaners.
As a junior, I was involved in this event by working on two projects. One project was from my Photovoltaics class which focuses on energy. The goal of the project was to make a solar power mini carnival. My group and I had made an swing ride in which contained two mini solar panels, a motor and decorations to sum it all up. When all was done, the class’ carnival pieces were set up on a large platform in order to get put in use throughput this school event.
The second project that I took apart in was promoting a PSA announcement and idea about the LA River. My group and I created a tri-fold about safety in the LA River and how to improve the area. Different groups focused on different ideas. This project really informed not only us students but the community altogether. The PSA announcement made many people aware and focus on the good and what can be done to make our LA River better and livelier.
I interviewed the following LA River high school students about their thoughts on the Environmental Summit and in what way they had participated:
“I presented my own poster about the safety in the river. I would recommend coming to this event because I think many people would find it interesting and it will give everyone in the community to see what’s going on with the river because there was a variety of topics that had to do with river. I think many people have the opportunity to learn new things about the river they’re surrounded by,” junior Briana Ramirez said.
“I had participated in this event because for all the 11th graders, we made projects. Our projects were mainly focused on the LA River and how we can improve it as a community. I would recommend coming to this event because it informs the people in the community the things we do as students in the LA River high school,” junior Alejandra Garcia said.
“I participated by presenting with my group of our sustainable dish. I would recommend coming to this event because you can see what it is like and what people have there to show others in the community,” sophomore Briana Zambrano said.
The Environment Summit at LA River High School was a success. Many came to the event and left informed. The goal was to have people gain more knowledge based on their community and environment, as well as try and take action just as the students of LARS did.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead