Principal Mary Lynskey, Phyical Education Teacher Laura Whitney, and Jim Fitzsimmons with his 5th grade science class and parent supporters (left to right) Angela Stewart, Kim Raznov Coon, Adam Eyring, and Haviva Goldman. (Photo by Sue Ann Rybak)

by Sue Ann Rybak

J.S. Jenks Elementary School, 8301 Germantown Ave., will receive a $1,300 grant from RecycleBank to be used for a school garden and nutrition program.

RecycleBank, which rewards people who recycle, made the grant as part of its Green Schools Program, which provides money for unique student projects that will green classrooms and communities.

“At Recyclebank, we believe that the next generation holds the keys to creating a more sustainable future for our planet,” said Jonathan K. Hsu, chief executive officer at Recyclebank. “With our Green Schools program, we are empowering students to make their eco-innovations a reality, and also encouraging the entire community to get involved.

He said students at schools like Jenks “are poised to be tomorrow’s environmental leaders” and congratulated the students and the community of Chestnut Hill for earning the grant.

Jenks parents Adam Eyring and Angela Stewart applied for the grant last year to start a school garden and nutrition program.

Eyring said there will be two components to the program. The first component is a nutrition program in which students from Jim Fitzsimmons’ fifth-grade science class will work with Laura Whitney, a physical education teacher, and Stewart to put together a nutrition program.

The second component consists of building the garden. Students will study landscape design, plant seeds, create raised beds, study and chart the progress of the plants and help maintain the garden.

“Students will talk to other kids about what they can do if they don’t have access to healthy foods in their neighborhood,” Eyring said. “The emphasis will be on encouraging kids to take action and promote the benefits of healthy eating.

From now until Mar. 15, RecycleBank members can donate their points to help fund the Jenks school garden and nutrition program by going to www.RecycleBank.com.

“Recyclebank will award a $1 for every 250 points donated to Jenks,” Eyring said.

He added that this year RecycleBank will match the money raised dollar-for-dollar.

For more information, email Eyring at adameyring@gmail.com.