Five Washington public school students who have picked up discarded beer and soft drink cans, checked the noise levels in their classrooms and made plans to plant vegetables in their schoolyards were honoured by President Carter Thursday at a ceremony in the Cabinet Room of the White House.
The President gave all of them framed certificates and a generous dose of praise for contribution "to the quality of life around their own home in a practical way, not just a theoretical way."
At the ceremony Carter handed out similar certificates to 10 students from schools in Massachussetts and Illinois.
All the students the president said were representative of about 70,000 young people who were being given the Presidental's Enviromental Youth Award this year for local projects to improve the enviroment around them.
Mary Faye Dudley, who directs the youth awards program for the Enviromental Protection agency, said that the students invited to the White House were picked "sort of at random," to illustrate the things young people are doing around the country.
The two fro m Ballou Senoir High School in Southeast Washington, Lesley Onley and Donna Cunningham, are students in the ecology class that has collected about 10,000 aluminium cans and sold them for recycling.
The class also has taken noise level reading around their school, and made suggestion how to keep things quieter.
Three other students from Marie Reed Elementary School, 18th and V streets NW, are members of a club callted the "Nature Bugs." The three, Allen King, TYrone Arrington and Scotty Vaughn, all have helped draw up plans in the yard of their new school, which replaced Morgan Elementary.
However, their teacher Irene Morris, said they have not been able to get enough money to begin the actual planting.
The enviromental awards program was started by President Nixon in 1971. It was renamed and reorganized by Carter last year.
"I felt real important going to the White House," said Lesley Onley from Ballou. "Me, going to see the president?It was great."
Onley said he brought a decibel meter with him to check out the noise level around the president's office. Afterward, he reported it was "acceptable."