(Secaucus, NJ––May 15, 2020) Under the challenging circumstances of a state-wide school closure, High Tech High School’s Environmental Club members created a virtual Earth Day Challenge to ensure the annual festivities remained part of the community experience, announced Dr. Joseph A. Giammarella, Principal at High Tech High School.
The Earth Day Challenge consisted of daily activties that began on April 14th and continued through April 20th. Throughout the week, the HTHS community was challenged to participate in fun activities that addressed pressing environmental concerns. Organized by Environmental Club President Ivonne Ovalles and Vice President Kate Neal, the events were designed to connect Club members with the larger HTHS community by cultivating awareness of how environmental issues impact students’ daily lives. The event culminated with a special commemorative video, “How I Appreciate the Environment,” which showcased HTHS students and staff participating in the week-long Earth Day challenges and activities.
The event was supported by members of the Environmental Club’s Planning Committee: Johanna Damaghi, Secretary; Al Sessna, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator; Julissa Laignelet and Kalsey Colotl, Education & Outreach Co-Coordinators; and committee members Rishika Bandamede, Diane Zaragoza, Fiona Bezhani, Reilley Peck, and Delaney Rice.
Ms. Cathy Yuhas, Environmental Club Advisor and veteran HTHS instructor, oversaw the organization of the celebration. Of the club members’ work, she said, “I am proud of the students in the Environmental Club for putting together a Virtual Earth Day celebration while they are learning online at home. They did an outstanding job of coordinating and implementing a successful event. It's great to see their commitment to the Environmental Club even though we are not in the building.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Beginning in 1970 in the United States as a campaign to bring awareness to environmental issues including pollution, pesticides, and threats to wildlife, Earth Day became a global phenomenon in 1990. Since then, Earth Day celebrations continue to unite citizens of the world in a fight for a greener, more sustainable Earth.