Kids Against Pollution at Seven Bridges Middle School

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April 18, 2008

by Madeline Rivlin

As the usual line of cars snaked up the driveway at Seven Bridges Middle School on Monday, April 14, they were greeted by students holding signs that read “save the earth, not just for us but for future generations,” and chanting “Ride the bus!”


Cars snaking up the driveway to Seven Bridges in the morning


Seven Bridges technology teacher and faculty advisor to Kids Against Pollution, Mike DeBellis


Against Pollution president Andrew Lafortezza

The students are members of Kids Against Pollution, an environmental group founded about 20 years ago by a New Jersey school teacher named Nick Byrne and his students. Seven Bridges students decided to join the group after Byrne spoke at Seven Bridges last year. They chose the bus riding project and made the professional quality signs with the help of technology teacher Mike DeBellis, their faculty advisor.

The students are counting all the cars that come in and out of the school each morning for a week.  So far, their data shows that approximately 300 cars enter the school premises each day and 200 leave, indicating that approximately 100 cars belong to teachers and staff, and approximately 200 people are driving students to school. Andrew Lafortezza, president of the Seven Bridges group, says that their goal is to reduce the number of people driving students to school by 50%.

Riding the bus “saves money, time and energy and helps protect and save the environment,” LaFortezza explained. So many students were interested in joining the group that DeBellis had to limit enrollment to 22 students this year, but next year he plans to make the group bigger and tackle other environmental issues at Seven Bridges.

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