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Advancing Youth Leadership class of 2010 plants green ideas in Federal Way

Advancing Youth Leadership’s class of 2010 recently removed ivy from Dumas Bay in Federal Way - Courtesy image
Advancing Youth Leadership’s class of 2010 recently removed ivy from Dumas Bay in Federal Way
— image credit: Courtesy image

Every year, the current Advancing Leadership Youth (ALY) class works on a project that will have lasting effects on Federal Way. This year’s class decided to help the environment and spent many months preparing for the project.

They knew that they wanted to educate others on how harmful people are to the environment and how simple changes can make a difference, but they also wanted to give back by taking action against negative things in our city’s environment. So, the ALY class decided on a two-part project.

The first part required going to Dumas Bay and pulling unending amounts of ivy that suffocates the natural foliage. The ALY group was dedicated and persistent, spending a Saturday in the rainy Northwest weather to make sure that they could preserve the environment. The next step was to inform other community members of the effects about pollution on our city and ways that you can eliminate waste. However, deciding which group to target posed a problem for the ALY students. Eventually, the ALY class visited a local elementary school to talk to students about recycling and reusing.

After many phone calls, Rainer View Elementary was the lucky school that the students were able to contact and meet with, talking about their ideas for giving the elementary students a lesson on “being green.” The ALY group then came up with various activities, including a skit for the students to watch as an introduction, which helped the students become interested in this year’s ALY class mission.

“At first the kids would goof off, but later they were really into it,” said Bailey Warrior, one of the ALY students who posed as Captain Green in the skit. The elementary students not only had a chance to watch a fun presentation, but they also got a hands-on experience with games and different stations with activities all about seeing how simple it is to help the environment in Federal Way.

“The best part about the crafts is that the kids can bring them home,” said Sara Mussa, who taught the students to make folder containers from empty cereal boxes.

“Some kids originally were nervous, but by the end of the day, they realized how much fun we were having and how we had created a safe environment. They came up to us and took our picture and gave us hugs,” Warrior said.

The project ended with the ALY class having Rainer View elementary school students sign a contract to stay green, said Jevoy Palmer, who introduced Captain Green and the Trash Villains. What was most amazing for everyone to see was how much fun the kids had learning about recycling and reusing what was once considered “trash” to help eliminate waste. Not only did the Rainier View students have fun, but so did the ALY students. The theme of the entire project revolved around the motto: “Be happy. Be healthy. Be green.”

During that final project for the class of 2010, they took that motto to heart.

Tara Larson is a student at Decatur High School. The Advancing Leadership Youth program is a Federal Way Chamber of Commerce program, sponsored by Comcast, and supported by Federal Way Public Schools. To learn more, e-mail terih@federalwaychamber.com

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