ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 3 - May/June

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 55 of 147

SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY LEFT: Jayni Chase and Phil Koch, executive director of the Marilyn G. Rabb Foundation, with Al Raby students at the Green Community Schools National Conference in 2012. BELOW: Jayni and her husband, Chevy Chase. learning to be green AS THE CITY WELCOMES NATIONAL LEADERS FOR THE CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE AMERICA 2013, ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATE JAYNI CHASE AND THE GREEN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS INITIATIVE STEP UP THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR ECO-CONSCIOUS EDUCATION IN CHICAGO AND BEYOND. I 've been working at greening schools since the late '80s, when I founded the Center for Environmental Education, and then in 1995, I wrote Blueprint for a Green School, a compilation of more than 7,500 sources of information and ideas for schools that want to go green. Because I'm married to Chevy Chase, I end up meeting a lot of thought leaders and, I hate to say it, but people aren't thinking about our schools when it comes to greening. I feel that schools are everything—they're the heart of our communities. Even if you don't have a child (maybe you're a grandparent, an aunt, or you live next door to kids), you can still contribute. To me, that's part of greening: The community works together and we all realize that what I do affects you and what 54 you do affects me. So if one person is taking really good care of himself and his environment, that's going to make everyone else's lives better. The vision for the Green Community Schools Initiative came to me after I went to the Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Bill Clinton's forum for bringing together leaders to promote economic growth, in 2007. I was really tired of people who would go to a school, set up a recycling center or install some solar panels, pat themselves on the back, and go home and say, "We greened this many schools." That's not greening a school. Greening a school requires a cultural shift: It's not just recycling while we're at school, but taking all those things and making them a permanent part of the fabric of that community. If you look at our data, Green Community Schools is having a deep and meaningful effect on these communities—because we don't just go, do one thing, and then go away. We go and we stay. The Green Community Schools Initiative started in Chicago in January 2010 at Al Raby School for Community and Environment. Lionel Rabb—who started the Marilyn G. Rabb Foundation at age 22 and is a Chicago native and just a phenomenon—launched the program with his partner, Vesna Stelcer, with me on the sidelines cheering and doing my part. The school is across the street from the Garfield Park Conservatory, which was a really big draw for continued on page 56 MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 054_059-MA_SP_SpiritofGen_MayJune13.indd 54 4/16/13 10:52 AM

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