U.S. - Italy Environmental Education Program Begins

Dec 08, 2020 711

BY: Silvio Laccetti

The Silvio Laccetti Foundation has begun a new outreach program, partnering with high level environment educational groups to share experiences and strategies. The key individual in this Trans-Atlantic cooperation is Connor Cunningham, a senior at Glen Rock High in NJ. Connor received the Foundation's first Charlie Kontos Environmental Activist award for his work in cleaning up ponds in New Jersey. He has his own non-profit, Friends of New Jersey Ponds.

After receiving the Kontos Award, Connor quickly became involved as the Foundation's representative in a number of environmental initiatives. He has become the head of Volunteers 4 Venice, an activist student group of Laccetti Foundation's Garibaldi Award winners The focus of Vols 4 Venice is to safeguard the historic city's delicate ecosystem from the dangers posed by behemoth cruise ships using the canals and lagoons.

The group is open to all students, high school or college, and information about it can be obtained by contacting Cunningham at: cunninghamc21@glenrocknj.org 

Recently, Connor represented the Foundation a special zoom meeting of principals of the International Committee to Safeguard Venice. He was tasked with presenting a student version of the Davos Convention of 2018 which aims to preserve and enhance the ecoculture of historic cities in the European Union. Another task involved preparing an action plan for high school students working to help Venice.

Foundation representatives also attended a December zoom conference, La Next Generation: Italy and the EU.This meeting,sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Instruction and led by the renowned Prof. Gabriella Colla involved over 300 interested Italian high school students. Cunningham gave a well-received power point presentation featuring his work in water remediation. Zeff Ferreira, an administrator at Stevens Tech, and Rutgers senior Liliana Leuzzi, a 2017 Garibaldi Award winner from Cliffside Park High also spoke to the student group. Participants on both sides of the Atlantic vowed to widen the scope of their activities and interactions.

SOURCE: Silvio Laccetti Foundation

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