Original Date: 
Wed, 2009-05-20

Contact:  Michelle Wade, Director of Communications W (203) 946-8450  C  (203) 675-5132
               Paul M. Jones, HSC Teacher (203) 946-7022
NEW HAVEN - If you live or work in the Wooster Square area, you have probably seen them-a band of 30 teenagers armed with rakes, shovels, and plastic bags.  That’s because students at New Haven’s High School in the Community (HSC) are taking action to improve their community in “Sustainable Living,” a unique science course that partners HSC students with the city in an effort to protect the local environment. 
When the class began on February 1, 2009, students brainstormed to came up with ideas for the class and its focus.  The class has adopted Wooster Square Playground, and students are determined to clean-up the park so that the neighborhood kids have a safe, well-maintained place to play. 
Also this spring, students designed and managed a school-wide recycling program at HSC and worked to raise awareness of the student body about recycling and littering issues and worked side-by-side with the HSC Custodial staff to sort materials in recycling bins. Additionally, students are working with City Seed to maintain their own portion of Wooster Square Community Garden on the corner of Olive and Wooster Streets and are also excited to say that their own vegetable garden will be coming to HSC this spring.
Science teacher Paul M. Jones teaches the class.  “The purpose of the class is to help these kids see how the way they live their everyday lives affects the environment and the community locally and globally,” said Jones.  “They gain a sense of responsibility for their world, and they experience personal growth.  They see tangible, measurable results.  It’s a special process.”
For the Wooster Square Playground project, City Seed provides students with tools such as rakes, shovels leaf bags and pick-up of leaves and trash.  Once the playground is completed, students will maintain the flower beds and flower boxes that line Wooster Street on a daily basis.  They also plan to resurface the Bocci Court. 
These kids are not afraid to get their hands dirty.  They just want to make a difference.  “We want to show that even teenagers care about the environment,” said Sadie Baldwin, a senior at HSC.
“We’re just trying to help, trying to make our community a little greener,” said Michael Baldwin, a junior.  “We just want to do our part.”