Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah
Picture of Utah

Fifth-grader competes for hybrid bus

Deseret News
Lana Groves
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A fifth-grade Granite School District student is competing against nine other students across the nation to win a hybrid school bus and $5,000 scholarship.

John Tanner, 11, submitted a 500-word essay about his mother, Patti White, and her sixth-grade class at Morningside Elementary School and its efforts the past five years to clean up the environment through protests, legislation and community involvement.

"It would be awesome if John could win," said White, who encouraged her son to enter the contest, pitting him against 2,000 elementary students. "We don't have any clean buses right now. I have two students who've taken chemical samplings of the air, and it's so unhealthy. A hybrid bus would be a step in the right direction."

The $200,000 energy-efficient bus fits in with surveys the class conducted and sent to Utah Clean Cities to show the negative effects of vehicle idling, especially buses.

"People don't realize the harmful affects of letting their vehicles idle," White said. "When I pull up to the ATM at a bank, I shut my vehicle off. And in buses, the diesel is in the air in the bus where students are riding, polluting their air quality."

Tanner's essay highlights the work of White's class in the surveys and a citywide campaign to stop vehicle idling. It also mentions the students' efforts through plastic recycling projects and informing the community of how efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs are compared to other bulbs.

The contest winner will be determined through online voting. People can vote for Tanner or the other applicants by creating an account at www.americasgreenestschool.com. Voting ends on May 17 and winners will be announced in June.

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