Join the Green Schools Quest for a Rewarding School Year

By Porscha Hayes, Show-Me Green Schools AmeriCorps VISTA

Are you a school looking for ways to go green that do not leave your piggy bank shattered? Do you want to offer more avenues of engaging programming to your students without stretching your teachers too thin? Are your students eager to see real-world impact as a result of their own brainstorming, planning, and project completion? The Green Schools Quest may be the right fit for you. The Green Schools Quest is an annual project-based, student-driven challenge to schools to implement a no/low-cost sustainability project between October and March with the help of a Green Mentor who assists with project ideas, implementation, and resources. Teams submit their process and impact at the conclusion for a chance to win cash awards and trophies. Past participants have remarked:

“In a world where sustainable solutions feel like an additional weight on the shoulders of teachers like me, this Quest puts the solutions and research on students and gives them a chance to show off the amazing changes that are capable of demanding for their future. I love what I/we fight for, and I love who we are fighting for even more.” – Britt Tate, Columbia and Bryan Hill Elementary

“Of all the things I volunteer for, the GSQ – by far – is the most rewarding! As a green mentor, you have the ability to get as involved with the project as much as you want. Personally, I have found the more involved that I’ve been, the more rewarding the program is. You do NOT have to be a sustainability expert on all things to be a mentor. Mentors just need to be dedicated and offer assistance to the school leaders. Excellent resources and guidance are provided to get you started and throughout the program. It’s been amazing to help students realize that they are big stakeholders in their schools, community, and the planet.” – Jaclyn Jezik, Green Mentor

In addition to school participants, Missouri Gateway Green Building Council and Missouri Environmental Education Association are looking for passionate individuals to serve as Green Mentors and help PreK-12 schools improve their students’ health, reduce their environmental impact, and develop a culture of sustainability. Registration deadline is Sept 15 for Schools and Aug 31 for Mentors. Prospective schools and mentors seeking to learn more are invited to attend a GSQ Info Session via Zoom on either August 24 from 4:30-5:30pm or September 7 from 4-5pm. Learn more at www.showmegreenschools.org!