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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 6, 2008

As the worm turns
FMS students to talk about vermicomposting at AWMA luncheon

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — Farnsworth Middle School students are using worms to make a rich fertilizer for their organic garden. Some of the students will accompany seventh-grade science teacher Jennifer Ford to a luncheon next Wednesday to talk about their Earth Day project.

Farnsworth applied for and received a grant from the Eastern New York Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association. The association is hosting the Earth Day Grants Presentation to celebrate National Education Week.

“We’re a group of scientists and engineers, mostly professionals in the environmental consulting fields, who meet monthly,” said Steve LeFevre, of Barton & Loguidice, who chairs the local chapter of the AWMA.

The chapter awards grants to local schools that further AWMA’s mission — “to promote a clean environment, provide leadership in the fields of air pollution and waste management, promote a sense of environmental responsibility, and serve its membership and the public,” he said.

Last year, LeFevre said, the chapter raised $4,750 and received applications for $19,200. Contributions to the not-for-profit organization are tax deductible.

Farnsworth received funds for its vermicomposting program.

Averill Park High School also received funds: Teacher Renée Frachioni will speak at the Nov. 12 luncheon about six years of creek study data.

Averill Park used its grant money to buy microscopes, said LeFevere. “If you don’t have microscopes, you can’t do a creek study,” he said.

Established in 2002, the Earth Day Grant Program is to encourage environmental awareness in students of all levels.

The point of the program, LeFevre said, “is to generate student interest in the field of science.” He went on, “By providing these grants, we’re letting schools initiate or develop programs they wouldn’t otherwise have…We have a shortage of earth and environmental scientists these days.”


The Earth Day Grants Presentation luncheon will be held at the Best Western Sovereign at 1228 Western Ave. on Nov. 12. The lunch costs $20 and reservations must be made by Nov. 7 by e-mailing Janis Fallon at JFallon@woh.com.

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