Wallingford Elementary School teacher Susan Knight and her 4th grade class are on a mission to save endangered marine animals. After their research on the subject indicated that plastic straws were needlessly killing animals including giant sea turtles, the class incorporated their findings into persuasive essays which they sent to local restaurants, encouraging them to operate under a “request only” mindset when it comes to distributing straws to customers who order beverages. Jonathan Litt, president of Ruby’s Diner of Glen Mills and Ardmore, was so moved by the serious work and perseverance of the fourth graders that he ordered signs for the tables in his restaurants stating “Skip the Straw … Save a Sea Turtle. Straws Available on Request.”
Closer to home, the class met with WES Principal Gabriel Savage to discuss how they could involve the WES community in their mission. Out of that meeting came designation of March 30 as “Skip the Straw Day” by students and staff at WES, with more than 350 students signing a pledge not to use straws for the 30 days of April, recognizing that each of them can act to make a difference in the world around them. Mrs. Knight’s class will host State Representative Leanne Krueger at WES on April 25, when they hope to bring to bear their seriousness of purpose, research, and grass-roots success to lobby Representative Krueger to sponsor a bill to make Pennsylvania a “request only” commonwealth in regards to straw distribution.