Facebook Long Island’s Half Hollow Hills High School East Raises $180,000 for Our Extraordinary Earth
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Long Island’s Half Hollow Hills High School East Raises $180,000 for Our Extraordinary Earth

This year, Half Hollow Hills created approximately 18,000 works of art and raised an impressive $180,000 in donations for the Extraordinary Earth Project and our five climate-conscious partner organizations – in a single day, no less!

Through Students Rebuild Day, Half Hollow Hills High School East joins teachers, students and families around the globe that partner with Students Rebuild to learn about a global issue, submit a work of art on that issue and unlock funding to address the issue. Half Hollow Hills High School East, and the entire Half Hollow Hills School District, have participated in Students Rebuild challenges since 2012 – submitting art that has raised over $1.4 million total in funding for global issues. They created Students Rebuild Day to empower students to take creative action in a fun, empowering environment, expanding the impact students can make in a single day.

“Students Rebuild Day allows our students to engage with real-world issues that are affecting their future,” said Cindy Cullen, Half Hollow Hills East High School Social Studies Teacher and advisor to the school’s Amnesty Club. “Our students are learning that small actions, like repurposing their old clothes or newspapers, can and will make a tremendous impact. These are light bulb moments, and I hope that they will carry these lessons of creative problem-solving to tackle whatever challenges they may face in the future.”

Students set to work planning this year’s environmentalism-themed Students Rebuild Day when school started in September. Leaders from the schools’ Amnesty Club and National Art Honor Society crafted the day’s agenda, pinpointed educational focal points and devised suitable art activities to enlighten their peers about environmentalism, sustainability and being good global citizens.

With the launch of this year’s long-planned event in the school’s gymnasium, young people channeled their creativity into various art activist – “artivist” – projects, including creating sustainable tote bags from repurposed t-shirts, assembling compostable planter pots from recycled newspapers and captivating art collages that raised awareness about the importance of bee protection, combating deforestation and protecting climate refugees. The day-long event aligned with Doubles Month, where every piece of art created generated twice the amount of funding for partners Choose Love/Choose Earth, Little Amal, National Wildlife Federation, Eden Reforestation Projects and the Solgaard Nyx Foundation.

“Students Rebuild Day brings us together for a cause we’re all passionate about,” said Jacob Muscolino, a senior and co-president of the Amnesty Club. “It’s all about taking the work we do in the gym and spreading it around the world, showing students the power they have to make a difference, in their classroom and beyond.”

Many of the students leading the day's events, like Jacob, have participated in Students Rebuild Challenges since their freshman year. Next year, Jacob will study Public Policy and Political Science at Emory University, and he attributes his passion for the field to his annual participation in Students Rebuild Challenges.

“Students Rebuild is empowering our students to harness their creativity and make a powerful impact on the world around them,” said Allyson Uttendorfer, Art teacher at High School East and advisor to the National Art Honor Society. “This program inspires the next generation of our future leaders to learn, get creative and take action – lessons they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

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Are you interested in creating art to protect our planet? Join the Extraordinary Earth Project and take action today at studentsrebuild.org/earth.

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