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Student Voices responses: Reducing energy waste in MA

§ April 15th, 2014 § Filed under Computers and Technology, Current Events, Elementary School, English Language Arts, High School, Journalism, Middle School, Science, Student Voices § No Comments

Check out what some local students had to say in response to page 18 of the March 4 Boston Herald Smart Edition article “State may not meet ‘green’ mandate” and the prompt below:
Massachusetts may not meet the country’s goals for greenhouse gas emissions set for 2020 unless serious action is taken. We are predicted to reduce the harmful contributor to global warming by 20 percent instead of the legally required 25. Recommendations include reducing methane leaks from natural pipelines and helping energy and gas utilities meet their energy saving goals. Why is it important for Massachusetts to reduce their energy waste? What can we all do on a smaller scale to “go green” and help our state?







"It is important for Massachusetts to reduce its energy waste because No. 1, it will help save money in the state budget and No. 2, it’s the governor’s responsibility to do that.

As our governor, Deval Patrick needs to reduce expenses in Massachusetts. There are many ways to reduce this waste and to save money in the state budget. State-owned buildings can model what we do in our classroom at Dexter Park Elementary School. We monitor our light use to help stop wasting electricity.

State buildings can open up as many shades as possible because sunlight is free and electricity costs money. Another way shades help to cut down waste is to keep shades closed on cold days to keep heat in. Another idea to reduce waste is to shut building doors to keep heat in or out of individual rooms. Also, in the hot months, use the shades to keep heat out and cooler air in. This cuts down on air conditioner and electricity use.

Above all else, when electronics are not in use, shut them off to cut down on energy waste!

On a small scale, to help our state to “go green” we can recycle old tires that people just throw away so the state can use them to make rubber pipes to replace leaking metal gas pipes. Rubber pipes won’t wear out as easy as the metal ones. This is extraordinary for two reasons. It cleans up our environment, helping us “go green,” and will eventually prevent gas leaks.

We can run tire drives like can drives to collect tires from people who need to dispose of them or just donate them. Other ways we can help our state is to recycle everything possible that is recyclable, which will clean our roads, towns and the state of Massachusetts.

Another idea is to start a campaign to educate kids like us on ways they can help to “go green.” We can create posters and send them to all Massachusetts schools. We will call it The D.P. (Dexter Park’s and Deval Patrick’s) Energy Waste Agents! Let’s spread the word!

According to a Boston Herald article, Massachusetts has been ranked No. 1 for saving energy for the last three years, and if we want to stay on top we need to step up our game, recycle and cut down on our waste."

-Stephen Gaj, Kritika Khati and Gavin Sullivan

Dexter Park Elementary School

Thank you to all the teachers and students who participated. Check out our next Student Voices writing prompt about young people in politics here.

April is Financial Literacy Month

§ April 8th, 2014 § Filed under Elementary School, High School, Marketing, Media criticism, Middle School, Teacher resources § No Comments

It's never too early to start teaching young people to have good money saving habits, and what better time to start? April is Financial Literacy Month, and our curriculum page has an entire section dedicated to Financial Education, including a colorful and interesting activity guide, "Be Money Smart," which introduces students to the idea of investing, saving, and managing their money. You can find the guide on our curriculum page, here.

Note: You must be subscribed to the Boston Herald Smart Edition for access to our curriculum page. Don't have the Smart Edition yet? Order here.

Try these finance themed activities and discussions with the Boston Herald Smart Edition:

  • Become familiar with the daily BizSmart section of the Boston Herald. List some of the topics covered over a period of days. Did any of the topics affect or interest you? Were they mostly local, state, or national stories?
  • Practice making wise money choices by going “shopping” through the Smart Edition. Compare prices on the following items and list the range of prices found: milk, sporting goods, sneakers, televisions, and pizza.
  • Become familiar with the Smart Edition's stock market pages. Then find a news story about something you think might affect a specific company’s stock.
  • Find at least two newspaper advertisements for the same product. Compare the ads and determine the best buy based on the information provided. Discuss how the advertisers are competing for your business and which approach is the most effective.

Student Voices Writing Prompt #4

§ April 3rd, 2014 § Filed under Current Events, Elementary School, English Language Arts, High School, Journalism, Media criticism, Middle School, NIE News, Student Voices, Teacher resources § No Comments

Thank you to the teachers who have participated in Student Voices, a new program that gives students the chance to have their opinions on current events published in the print Boston Herald. Read some of the latest student submissions here.
Teachers must be subscribed to the Boston Herald Smart Edition to participate in Student Voices. Don’t have the Smart Edition yet? Order here!
Here is the next writing prompt:
Read the article “A high school senior, and selectman, too” on page 19 of the April 3 Boston Herald Smart Edition. You can also read the article at this link. Then, answer the following writing prompt:

Patrick Reynolds just turned 18 and is still a senior in high school, and he was just voted town selectmen of North Attleboro. Reynolds raised his own campaign money, went door to door, and asked his friends and their parents to vote for him, winning the town’s 4-way election. What are some of the benefits of having a young person in a position of leadership in politics? How can young people become more interested and involved in politics?

Use the Calendar tool in the Smart Edition to access past issues. Instructions on using the Calendar tool are found here.
Deadline: Thursday, May 1

Please email your responses with an individual photo of each student to Brianne Costa at

*If you send photos you must have a signed media release form from a parent or guardian. Download the Media Release Form here.

If you have any questions about how to participate, contact Brianne Costa at or call 617-619-6220.