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Local School Named as Finalist in Hickory Springs Earthcare Challenge II


Hickory Springs, one of the nation’s leading suppliers of components to the furniture industry, today announced that Emek Hebrew Academy in Sherman Oaks was among five school groups from around the country to enter the final round of its social media competition, EarthCare Challenge II.

The finalists now advance on a March-long initiative to implement their earth-friendly ideas for a chance to win the grand prize of cash and furnishings which feature Hickory Springs’ eco-friendly components line, EarthCare Inside.

Hickory Springs announced the finalists on EarthCare Challenge’s Facebook page on March 1st. Taking place entirely on Facebook, the contest chronicles the teams’ everyday challenges and accomplishments as they progress with their environmental projects.

“Through the EarthCare Challenge, entire communities are stepping forward to share their experiences and show what being earth-friendly means to them,†said Hickory Springs Executive Vice President Dwayne Welch. “This year’s contestants are a diverse mix of green youth groups of all ages, who together with their advisors are really taking the contest to new heights. I am excited to see how their journeys unfold in the weeks to come.â€

Through posts, photos and videos, the teams are asked to demonstrate their progress online while building their own following and ultimately, impressing the contest judges, Hickory Springs and its Green Expert Panel. The public can vote for their favorite team on Facebook by commenting or “liking†any of their favorite contestant’s posts or photos.

Ruth Dimant and Emek Hebrew Academy in Sherman Oaks, CA decided to expand a community-wide project with a Jewish non-profit organization that distributes food to families in need, by introducing a recycling component to their efforts.

Finalists include four other schools from across the country:

Sara Bauer, the Kindergarten Enrichment Program teacher at Sara’s Preschool in Ridgewood, NJ, is introducing her students to environmental awareness by conducting month-long projects demonstrating their March Green Up theme.

Vashon School District and Chef Tom French in Vashon, WA have joined forces to bring the Experience Food Project to their schools. Students will document the progress of the new lunch program highlighting whole foods from regional and sustainable purveyors while measuring the district’s “foodprint†and carbon reduction efforts.

Kathryn Meneghin and her Environmental Club at Fair Lawn High School in Fair Lawn, NJ have started a program to distribute aluminum bottles to the entire student body in an effort to create a completely plastic-bottle-free campus.

Sara Lashbrook and her second grade class at Jackson Elementary in Jackson, WY are pursuing the adventures of composting. They are collecting compostable waste from sources throughout the school and studying how the process can benefit the earth and a healthy lifestyle.

The contestants are guided by a Green Expert Panel consisting of three noted environmental leaders: Marc Sloot, a green building specialist with SALA Architects, Inc. and Chairman of the Minnesota GreenStar Residential Green Building Program’s technical committee; Brian G. Allen, social venture entrepreneur and Vice-Chair of the American Solar Energy Society’s Sustainability Division; and Amy Todisco, a green lifestyle writer, consultant and coach, and owner of GreenLivingNow.com, a green products e-commerce site.

In April, Hickory Springs will award the grand prize to the contestant who has made the most dramatic progress with their community project. The winner will take home $1,000 to be used to further their project plus a collection of EarthCare Inside furnishings valued at $2,000 delivered to their community space of choice.

For more information on The Hickory Springs EarthCare Challenge, visit www.earthcareinside.com and click on “Take the Challenge.â€

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