ROSELLE – In a way, an 11-year old girl helped create the first environmental club at Abraham Clark High School.
Abdul-Adil Hasan, a senior at ACHS, was in Wildwood on vacation last summer when he threw a lollipop stick on the ground instead of finding a nearby trash can. His 11-year-old cousin noticed his faux pas and chastised him for it. Hasan immediately learned his lesson.
“I thought that if she’s so young and knows that it’s wrong to litter, and I’m supposed to be a role model for her, shouldn’t I know it’s wrong too?” Hasan said.
The incident turned Hasan into a passionate environmentalist. He researched “green” practices over the summer and took an interest in environmental science. When school began in the fall, he asked about forming an extracurricular club devoted to environmentalist causes. On Oct. 29, 2009, the ACHS Green Club had its first meeting.
“I’m a senior and I want to make a difference at my high school,” Hasan said. “I started the Green Club to make Abraham Clark an environmentally-friendly school, but also the help improve education and school spirit.”
The Green Club meets every Wednesday after school. There are approximately 20 members. Since it is a new club, the first few meetings focused on shaping the organization’s goals and discussing potential projects the group can sponsor.
“Our main ideas are to promote recycling in the school, create a compost, have a school garden, a class cleanup day, a ‘no paper’ day and to plant a tree in the name of the Green Club,” Hasan said.
Hasan believes that the activities and practices the club wants to implement will be educational. For example, if the school sponsors a “no paper day” – during which teachers would have to put notes on a projector or blackboard instead of handing out photocopies – students would be forced to hand record their notes, a process which many experts say reinforces the day’s lesson. Students would also learn the science behind many of the green practices that are implemented.
As for improving school spirit, Hasan believes ACHS students will rally around many of the projects. The new garden, tree and publicity the school will get for its green practices will be things the students and faculty can be proud of.
The Green Club is already bringing students together from other extracurricular clubs. The Christian Fellowship Club, National Honor Society and the ACHS Student Government have all offered to help the Green Club with its projects.
“There have been about five teachers and several student groups that have been very supportive,” Hasan said.
The teachers who assisted Hasan say he should be commended for his efforts to leave ACHS a better place than he found it.
“Abdul is a wonderful example of a young man who exemplifies what Service Learning is all about,” said ACHS Anne Turalski, who taught Hasan last school year as part of the Service Learning program. “He saw the need to make students environmentally aware and has applied his knowledge and passion to the subject. His enthusiasm is wonderfully contagious.”
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