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Barnesville Earns 'Recycling Hero' Award in Green Cup Challenge
Posted 05/23/2018 09:35AM

Barnesville School of Arts & Sciences earned the “Recycling Hero” award from The Green School Alliance. Competing in the national Green Cup Recycle Challenge, Barnesville placed second overall, reaching the highest Action Level and scoring just 1.5% points behind first place. Barnesville’s effort was led by its Environmental Sustainability Committee co-chaired by Preschool Teachers Jodi Popielaski and Elizabeth Gekas who championed student efforts.

During the 4-week Recycle Challenge, schools around the country competed for “Bin Points” by improving recycling compliance rates and decreasing contamination. Bonus Points could be earned for additional waste reduction efforts such as composting or paperless communications. Weekly bin surveys provided instant feedback on recycling efforts.

“We put a big focus on reducing the use of single-use disposable items as well as recycling,” said Mrs. Popielaski. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is our everyday practice at Barnesville, but this challenge showed the kids that we still had lots of room for improvement. They did a fantastic job reminding each other to reduce waste.”

Barnesville was one of just two schools that reached the highest Action Level to earn the Recycling Hero award.

  • 1st - Rye Country Day School, NY (93.8 points)

  • 2nd - Barnesville School of Arts and Sciences, MD (92.3 points)

The Green School Alliance announcement read: “You found so many creative ways to improve recycling at your schools, educating your school communities about recycling right, instituting school-wide waste reduction campaigns and policies and holding classroom challenges. Your actions made a huge difference!”

In 2017, Barnesville won the Green Cup Challenge for energy savings and behavior change and education. The Green Schools Alliance connects and empowers champions who are creating healthy and sustainable schools. The Alliance sponsors the annual Green Cup Challenge, inviting K-12 schools across the country to measure and reduce their energy use, improve their recycling and waste reduction programs, and activate student engagement.

Barnesville School of Arts & Sciences is an independent private school in Montgomery County, Maryland offering innovative preschool through 8th grade programs. Cross-curricular teaching encourages students to explore how subjects relate to one another, helping them to make connections that spark inquiry and deepen understanding. Small classes enable skilled teachers to engage each child in an academically challenging environment. Our 30-acre campus is our extended classroom, and we integrate nature into everyday learning. Barnesville is certified as a Maryland Green School by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, demonstrating achievement in curriculum and instruction, community partnerships, and best management practices.


An independent private school in
Montgomery County, Maryland
offering innovative preschool
through 8th grade programs.

Barnesville School

21830 Peach Tree Road
PO Box 404
Barnesville, MD 20838

p: 301.972.0341
f: 301.972.4076


We offer a vigorous academic program for students as well as engaging, hands-on learning experiences.


Our positive, supportive learning environment promotes imagination, exploration, personal growth, and achievement.

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