The following is an interview with Alberto Lopez, LA’s BEST site coordinator at Esperanza Elementary. Below Alberto talks about how the Go H2O challenge impacted his school community.
Q: How did you bring the Go H2O challenge into your program?
A: We brought it to the site with great expectations and motivations. Being a very “green” person, I knew that I would bring the challenge to the forefront of what we were doing at LA’s BEST to emphasize the importance of recycling and drinking water. We even showed a demo of why drinking water was good for you and how soda could slow a person down.
Q: What did the kids learn through this challenge?
A: The students grasped the concept of the challenge. They loved the water bottles and the fact that they could personalize them.
Q: How important is it that kids in the LA’s BEST program learn about recycling?
A: That is an important part of what we do at my site. We teach the “4 R’s,” especially the new “R”, Renew. We give the students demos and activities to show how they can “renew” their old items. We also emphasized why it was better for the environment to reuse their water bottles instead of buying new ones all the time.
Q: Has the Go H2O challenge changed the way your site talks about recycling and healthy habits?
A: It sparked an interest in my staff and my students that wasn’t there before. The fact that my staff has embraced the “4 R’s” is a great testament to what the Go H2O Challenge brought to my site.
Q: What does it mean to you as a site coordinator to be involved in the Go H2O challenge?
A: Everything! I believe that we are all connected. Therefore, what we do as a site and as an organization has a huge impact on our community and on others. We can set the example for our students, who take it to their families, who take it to their communities and so on.
Q: This program works to make the kids ambassadors of healthy habits among their friends and families. What are some examples of how the kids have taken what they’ve learned back to their homes?
A: We have continued recycling. Whenever we have events at our site, we drink water or make lemonade instead of buying it and when the students make it themselves, they realize it has less sugar. Parents have become curious and gotten involved because their kids are going crazy with recycling everything and anything at home.
Q: Have the kids started taking the initiative to recycle at your site since the program launched?
A: We do it every single day: plastic bottles, paper and our famous crayon which we make by melting old crayons and molding them into cool shapes for the kids to use again. The kids are the reason that we do all of these things around here. They are our leaders!
Alberto Lopez is an LA’s BEST site coordinator at Esperanza Elementary.