KENNEBUNK, Maine, July 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Remember the curiosity that was sparked by an interesting school project? Recall the excitement at unearthing a new way to solve a problem? Starting today, a simple vote can help students create similar memories and inspire them to make a difference in the world around them. The Tom's of Maine "Green Your School Fund" is investing in kids and asking for your help in determining the most creative environmental projects submitted by educators nationwide. Visit greenschoolfund.com to vote daily through October 17, 2016.
The "Green Your School Fund" is a new initiative from Tom's of Maine, a pioneer in making products that are natural, responsible and sustainable. The company has teamed up with DonorsChoose.org to give $1 million dollars to classrooms nationwide so students can roll up their sleeves and understand at an early age the impact they can have on the planet.
More than 250 projects from 40 states were submitted and a panel of judges that include musician and actor Kevin Jonas; enterprise editor and senior reporter at The Huffington Post, Kate Sheppard; CEO of TerraCycle, Tom Szaky; 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes; and founder of the I am the Maven® blog, Kerri Jablonski, chose the ten most creative ideas as finalists. Now, communities across the country get to choose their favorite classroom lesson.
The project that receives the most votes will receive $25,000 in funding to turn their project into a reality. Second place and third place winners will receive $15,000 and $10,000 respectively and seven honorable mention projects will receive $2,000 each. The fund is also distributing more than $900,000 to classrooms across the country. As such, every educator that submitted an idea to the Tom's of Maine "Green Your School Fund" has already received 50 percent or more in funding towards reaching their project goal. The public can also help support these projects in classrooms across the nation by contributing at DonorsChoose.org/greenschoolfund.
"Incorporating a healthy routine into a child's daily life involves more than just teaching them how to take care of their bodies, it also includes teaching them how to take care of the communities where they live," said Susan Dewhirst, public relations and goodness programs manager at Tom's of Maine. "Our hope is that the projects submitted as part of the Tom's of Maine 'Green Your School Fund' will help teachers to introduce their students to ways they can make a meaningful impact in both their school and their community, and then take these lessons and apply them as they grow into adulthood."
Listed alphabetically by state, the "Green Your School Fund" ten finalists are:
Designing with Environmental Science in Mind
Sequoia Middle School
Green Our Room: Recycling and Upcycling!
The Green Stallion Project
Polo Park Middle School
Eagles Care! A Dune Restoration Project!
Buddy Taylor Middle School
Improving Our Air Quality
Adams Elementary School
Less School Plastic in Landfills
Nauset Regional Middle School
No Swimming Allowed...WHAAAT?!?
Pinewood Elementary School
Micro Plastics: You Could Be Eating This Stuff!
Ella White Elementary School
How Does Your Garden Grow
Cleveland Elementary School
Cummings Green Team!
"One of the best gifts we can give today's students is an appreciation for the environment, yet too many teachers lack the supplies and resources to bring these science lessons to life in their classrooms," said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org. "We're thrilled to work with Tom's of Maine on their 'Green Your School Fund' program. This initiative showcases the importance of environmental science education and shines a spotlight on some of the most creative and inspiring projects from teachers across the country."
Tom's of Maine gives 10% of its profits back to helping people and the planet. Employees are encouraged to give 5% of paid time to volunteer and this year marks the company's 46th anniversary. Additional information is available at tomsofmaine.com/greenschoolfund.
About Tom's of Maine Tom's of Maine is a leading natural products company focused on oral and personal care, carrying high quality toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, deodorant, antiperspirant, bar soap, body wash, body lotion, hand cream, lip balm and baby care products. The company has a long-standing commitment to supporting people, communities and the living planet. For 45 years, Tom's of Maine has supported hundreds of nonprofit efforts by giving 10% of its profits back to organizations that support human and environmental goodness and by encouraging employees to use 5% (12 days) of employee time to volunteer. Tom's of Maine employees regularly contribute suggestions for improving the company's high sustainability standards. And their ideas, from wind power to ways to improve recycled and recyclable packaging options, are critical to the company's sensitive way of doing business. Most Tom's of Maine products are vegan, kosher, halal-certified and gluten-free. All packaging is recyclable through a partnership with upcycling leader TerraCycle or participating municipalities. Tom's of Maine enjoys partnering with its consumers, suppliers and community organizations to support lasting, positive change that is good for people and the planet. Visit us online at http://www.tomsofmaine.com/ or at http://www.facebook.com/TomsofMaine.
About DonorsChoose.org Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Teachers at over two-thirds of all the public schools in America have created project requests, and more than 2 million people have donated $430 million to projects that inspire them. Over 18 million students—most from low-income communities, and many in disaster-stricken areas—have received books, art supplies, field trips, technology, and other resources that they need to learn.