Los Angeles River students celebrated Earth Day by having their First Annual Environmental Summit on the Sotomayor campus.
On April 28, Los Angeles River School students and community members showcased their Earth Day projects to family members and other community participants. Alongside LARS were other schools in the neighborhood, such as Glassell Park Elementary and Studio Middle School. There were a range of workshops available to the community run by adults and students.
LARS students in Danaelle Arroyo’s photovoltaic class showcased their green energy carnival rides powered by the sun. Each class assembled a carnival with rides of their choosing and used recycled materials like cardboard. The project took about a month, as the students had to assemble the materials and test out the equipment using a trial and error method. In the end, it was a success. “The projects were well presented and left many parents with their mouths open because they couldn’t believe the mini carnival was run on solar energy”, said LARS student Guadalupe Castellanos.
The solar carnivals were not the only things being presented. The event also offered a variety of workshops. One of the workshops was run by the Northeast Los Angeles Alliance, a group devoted to defend the community from gentrification as it poses a threat to the neighborhoods and people inhabiting it. They raised awareness on new potential renovations in the neighborhood that will have an impact to the community members as prices to housing and rent will go up.
To showcase LARS’ sustainability, the farm on campus was open to visitors. People were welcome to see the vegetation, pigs, lambs, geese, ducks, chickens, roosters, etc. They were even welcome to take a plant home, free of charge.
Science teacher and local advocate for the environment, Sarah Molina, highlighted the importance of the perseverance of our planet.
“There were a variety of workshops that touched on topics of sustainability within the community and environment. Students had the opportunity to participate in community based learning that empowered them to make personal changes and gain knowledge that will impact the health of their communities in the future”, said Molina.
With the Environmental Summit being a great success, LARS staff hopes next year we have more community members in attendance and more workshops offered.
We must emphasize the importance of sustainability and green energy within the community, and having events run by teachers and students, makes that a viable option. Who better to advocate for the community than the future generation?