East Islip High School teachers Shannon Berhoff and Heather Degen do such a terrific job in their shared “Green Movement” course, they inspire others to go out and do something about pollution. Even other educators find their message compelling enough to inspire action.
On a recent Saturday, a volunteer group of East Islip teachers gathered at East Islip Town Beach, clad in yellow jackets and rubber gloves. Walking the beach, they gathered as much garbage as they could, filling 15 trash bags full of refuse.
One of the participating East Islip teachers, Greg Kguloian, found it an eye-opening experience. “As I drove home,” he said. “I saw all the trash on the side of the road. I pulled over into a parking lot and filled a small plastic bag I saw stuck in a hedge. When that bag was full of other trash I found nearby, I drove it to the next parking lot where there was a garbage can. That one act may not have done a great deal of good, but it sowed the seed of an idea. What if I were to take a plastic bag and just clean up one little area along my commute each day after work? I know it won’t make much of a real difference, but it is a positive. We teachers always want our kids to learn what is right in this world, and we are also expected to lead by example. Shannon and Heather have helped me to think up new ways to pass on their green message.”