Students at Cedar River Academy at Taylor Elementary are learning how to take better care of the environment. At the CRCSD elementary magnet school, K-5th grade students learn the traditional curriculum and standards with an instruction theme focusing on sustainability. So far this year, learning focuses on recycling, recycled fashion, composting, global warming, and a field trip to the local landfill.

After learning how greenhouse gas emissions in car exhaust contribute to global warming, Cedar River Academy fourth-grader, Jade McClay, decided to raise awareness and reduce car exhaust in the school’s drop-off/pick-up line. Jade led her classmates in Ms. Callahan’s class and walked with handmade signs through the school’s drop-off/pick-up line at dismissal, urging parents to turn off their cars while they waited to pick-up their kids.

“If those cars were on, smoke will be coming out and then we have to breathe that,” Jade said. “We don’t want to breathe that. We want to breathe normal, regular air. That’s why we made these signs.”

Jade’s efforts coincided with and helped enforce the district’s Vehicle Idle Reduction policy, which is in the CRCSD Sustainability Plan. The district has permanent “Idle Free Zone, Turn Engine Off” signs at every school building. CRCSD recommends reducing unnecessary idling to 15 minutes in temperatures below 32 degrees and 5 minutes at temperatures between 45-80 degrees for district owned and privately owned vehicles on school grounds.

Cedar River Academy is one of the six magnet schools offered within the district. For more information click here.