Colrain students work on real-life solutions

Published: 1/20/2020 9:32:44 AM

On Wednesday, you profiled local female activist, Janet Sinclair. She tells us to, “be confident, skillful, knowledgeable and to be persistent.”

These inspiring words reminded me of what we’re trying to do at Colrain Central School with our service-learning initiative. We believe that when you introduce students to real-life needs in the community and give them the tools to work on solutions, you help shape the kind of citizens Janet Sinclair described.

Last year, a parent suggested that our students could join the movement to learn how to create reusable shopping bags. To accomplish this goal, second-, third- and sixth-grade students worked together, reading, calculating, writing letters, meeting with community members, and building their discussion skills. For materials, they collected used feed bags and irrigation drip tape from several local farms. On Friday. Jan. 10, our students worked with volunteers from SCA/Americorps and made 147 reusable bags, just in time for Greenfield’s plastic bag ban to go into effect. Every student and adult in our school community now has a repurposed bag.

Our students are also learning to see themselves as problem-solvers and building their confidence along the way. One third-grader, Clint, wrote that he felt “pretty good about myself because we stopped plastic going into the landfill.” Second-grader Cyrus wrote, “It made me feel good to help the Earth. I learned that we can save the animals.”

If you find that you are short on reusable bags, consider joining us later in the spring when we will hold a community bag-making event and celebration of all our service-learning projects ( Make sure to check out for other events.

Talia Miller



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