As I have mentioned in previous comments, my school, Boutcher C.E Primary School, is fundraising for something called a "Green Screen". A Green Screen is a plantation of ivy or bamboo, which is scientifically proven to reduce the pollution levels. A nearby school was the first to plant the screen. Some people visited the school, and described the difference as immense. I felt it was necessary to write a letter to my local councillor to see if she could help us.
The letter read:
Dear Councillor Humaira Ali,
As you probably already know, London has some of the highest levels of pollution in the UK. Our school, Boutcher, is right next to the busy road; exposing us to fumes that will damage our health. Due to toxic air, children in London are growing up with smaller lungs, and more asthma.
However, there is something that could help.
"Green Screens", which are planted fences or ivy and/or bamboo, have been found to block a third (36%) of nitrogen dioxide, and 40% of particulate material pollution.
Some children in our class visited the Charlotte Sharman School, one of the first to test the Green Screen. They found the difference in the air compared to the air outside; the one with all the pollution infested in it, was immensely noticeable.
The Screen was found to be an effective pollution barrier once the ivy had started growing, and a significant impact could be seen once the screen had matured.
So, as you can see, it really does a lot to help, and it has helped the couple of schools who have had it installed.
In addition to reducing pollution, having the Green Screen planted will keep out nosy people from having a peak through our gates. We are little children who need our privacy, and a comfortable playtime.
Boutcher C of E Primary School has received £9,000 from the Mayor's Fund that is going towards the "Green Screen". To date, we have raised nearly £1,300** though we need £3,750 for the funding to be released.
We'd be immensely grateful if you'd help, and support us for the worthy cause.
This letter then let Councillor Humaira Ali come and visit our school - meeting the School Council, and me. It was incredibly interesting to see her points of view on Southwark Council, Democracy, Pollution and the Green Screen. I also enjoyed her games, which reflected meanings. For example, she took out 21 pencils from a pot. This meant, she explained, that we had £21 to spend on either Parks, Police, Schools or Taking the Rubbish Out. Surprisingly, this was hard, as the cost of all of them was £22 - annoyingly only £1 more! We split into 2 groups, and in my group, we agreed that funding the police was first priority, because (as the saying goes...) "Safety First!". Then, obviously, School came second, because of education (However, now that I'm thinking about it, perhaps education should come first - since policemen had to be educated before they got the job). It was quite a hard decision between Taking The Rubbish Out and Parks, but in the end, we decided Taking The Rubbish Out came third. This is because if there were smelly bin bags thrown across London, our health will be affected. But our group thought it was a little unfair for there not to be any parks at all in the area, so we would only put a small park in the middle, costing us £2.50 rather than £6. Don’t you think this is a better idea?
Another democracy game played was whether or not we like chocolate with nuts, or chocolate without them. I, naturally, chose chocolate WITH nuts - what do you like? Plain chocolate or chocolate with nuts?
I’m going to take my group as an example here - we had to rack our brains for reasons why chocolate with nuts is better, and why we didn’t prefer plain chocolate. It was really quite funny because our group said that we didn’t like plain chocolate because it was plain. As soon as we said that, the other group said they liked plain chocolate because it was, well, plain!
** This letter was written on the 10th April. To date, we have risen £3,611!!