CERRITOS, CA [JUNE 23, 2021].  Grades of Green, a nonprofit dedicated to environmental education, recently awarded a total of $1,000 in Eco-Grants to two student teams from Mary Bragg Elementary School and Whitney High School. Each received $500 for their environmental projects focused on protecting and restoring trees to combat climate change. The Cerritos schools were selected to receive two of 10 Eco-Grants awarded by Grades of Green as part of the Climate Solutions Campaign for student teams from around the world to expand the environmental impact of their projects.

For the third year in a row, The Mary Bragg Green Team at Mary Bragg Elementary School secured an Eco-Grant for their multi-tiered community tree project. These 54 4th, 5th and 6th grade students self-organized into three teams and, together, increased urban tree cover in the City of Long Beach, wrote over 200 letters for the Reserva Youth Land Trust letter-writing campaign to protect old-growth rainforests, and created a Mary Bragg Green Team website to educate their community about the urban heat island effect. For their impact, the team earned The Best Elementary Impact Award and a $500 Eco-Grant.

“The achievements we are most proud of are creating a website that is full of information about our school, our team and the events we do in the community. We are also very proud of planting trees in Long Beach and cleaning up the parks for Earth Day. We made a huge difference and now, the people in the city of Long Beach can enjoy the beautiful trees that we planted in their neighborhood for many years to come,” said Ahyana, a rising 5th grade student on the Bragg Green Team.

The dedicated Ecology and Wildlife Club at Whitney High School earned the $500 Community Advocates Award for offsetting their school’s paper usage through a community tree sale. The team partnered with the nonprofit, Tree-Plenish, to source the Gala apple trees and surpassed their goal by distributing more than 120 trees. With their Eco-Grant funds, the Club is excited to help upgrade their school gardens since they have been damaged due to the closure of their school over the past year and a half.

“Our goal is to protect future generations from the long lasting effects of climate change, particularly stressing the importance trees play in this issue. We are passionate about affecting change in our local community and want to do our part to build a more sustainable future,” said Eco Club Leaders, Samantha and Syria, in a joint statement.

These ABCUSD student teams were inspired to take action by participating in Grades of Green’s Climate Solutions Campaign, a program in which student leaders launch their own climate-focused advocacy projects in communities located around the globe. The 2020-2021 school year was the first iteration of the Climate Solutions Campaign and welcomed 593 students who impacted more than 140,000 of their community members with their projects. 

“We are so impressed by the incredible accomplishments of our students over the course of a very challenging year. Because of their environmental advocacy efforts in schools and communities across the world, our students have inspired thousands of people to make long-lasting changes to address the climate crisis,” said Kim Siehl, Executive Director at Grades of Green.

To learn more about each team’s project and impacts, visit:


Founded in 2009, Grades of Green is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit that has been mentoring and equipping students with the knowledge and leadership skills they need to create meaningful environmental change locally and globally. The organization’s award-winning programs and project-based approach have a proven track record of empowering the next generation of Eco-Leaders as they make measurable and scalable environmental impact in their communities, create lasting policy change through civic engagement, and engage with a global network of fellow Eco-Leaders. Grades of Green provides these services to students at no cost to the students, their parents or schools.


Are you a student who would like to get involved or do you know of one? Find more information and sign up your student team at or email

Thank you Mr. James Saracini

Thank you Mr. Scott Smith – ABCUSD Communications

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