For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Jim Hynes, Assistant to the City Manager, (510) 981-7071

KIDS FOR THE BAY, EMERSON SCHOOL STUDENTS, AND CITY STAFF TO STENCIL STORM DRAINS
June 2 Event to Focus on Storm Drains on College Avenue,

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, May 30, 2006) - On Friday, June 2, fourth grade students from Emerson Elementary School will partner with senior citizens from the North Berkeley Senior Center and City of Berkeley Public Works Engineering staff to stencil storm drains in the area of College Avenue, south of UC Berkeley campus.  This past year the curriculum for the fourth graders at Emerson included an environmental education component in which they learned about the  “4Rs” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot) and how creeks and storm drains in the city flow to the Bay.  This intergenerational learning event reinforces the classroom experience.   “Many of our seniors are very much in tune to issues of the environment, and really appreciate the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the kids”, says William Rogers, Director of Senior Programs for the City of Berkeley.

Teachers at Emerson and the Kids for the Bay, a local Berkeley non-profit organization, worked over the last year to develop the environmental education curriculum, and coordinate the June 2 event. Students learned how everything that ends up in the gutters and storm drains eventually gets washed into the Bay, and the only way to prevent this is to not litter and regularly clean out gutters and storm drains of both vegetative and man made materials.  The hands-on event on June 2 will give the Emerson School students a chance to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom.  In addition to cleaning the storm drains, they will stencil lettering on the drains that say: “Do not dump. Drains to the Bay."

Berkeley Arts Magnet School fourth graders had a similar experience on Wednesday, May17 when neighborhood storm drains in their area were stenciled. Several senior citizens, parent volunteers, and City staff rounded out each team. The students found it to be very engaging and relished the opportunity to do something noticeable in their community. Each student received educational materials highlighting what they and their neighbors can do in each community to prevent polluting the Bay and how to maintain the storm drains in their neighborhoods. All supplies and materials were provided by  the City of Berkeley, and made possible through coordination with Alameda County.

For more information contact Jim Hynes, in the City Manager’s Office, at 981-2493.

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