The Common Ground High School in New Haven is about to receive a $93,630 grant from State Farm Insurance. Common Ground students want to use the money to make their school the “greenest” in the country.
Common Ground is already pretty “green”. The environmental charter school’s 155 students study pollution and public health, global warming and clean energy. On a 20-acre site below West Rock Ridge students raise vegetables and chickens, which are used to make school lunches. They recycle and compost . The school building has solar panels on its roof. Common Ground plans to use the grant to make the campus even more sustainable. One idea is to build a pavilion, near the existing gardens, where the school could sell produce. 16 year old Santiago Achinelli says he’d like it to be a green building with a garden growing on the roof.
“We hope to use this money to create new, greener buildings on campus just to demonstrate to people that these technologies are out there and if we can build them why can’t everybody else?”
Students and staff at the Common Ground School developed the grant. Other young people, who serve on State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board, chose to award the money to Common Ground. It’s part of $5 million in grants State Farm Insurance is giving to student-led service projects around the country.