NVJN and Smithtown Students Bag an FMC Folio Award For Outstanding Environmental Story



Ronkonkoma, NY — A chain of plastic grocery bags creates a colorful and compelling illustration of how minor changes in consumer behavior may have major benefits for our environment. The video presentation by the "My Long Island TV" show is the subject of a FOLIO Award-winning project, selected by judges at the Bethpage, Long Island-based Fair Media Council.

Video Journalist and National Video Journalist Network (NVJN) founder Waldo Cabrera recorded students, faculty and administrators at the Ivy League School and Day Camp in Smithtown, as they tied end-to-end plastic bags gathered by students over the previous month. The motley chain was unwound across the school grounds, covering a distance of more than 16 hundred feet, a length of 200 feet taller than the Empire State Building.

“This is a fairly small-population school,” said Ruben Echaverria, a math and technology teacher. “Just imagine what a full public school could produce!”

“Rather than learning from text books, we’re learning from experience,” said Don Sternberg, Ph.D., principal of the Ivy League School.

Sternberg tied together several lessons gained by students during the plastic bag project, such as calculating measurements, analyzing the composition of plastic bags, and the environmental value of using recyclable materials.

“Much of the plastic does not decompose,” said Sternberg. “What is our garbage doing to our soil and our water? We have a fragile ecosystem, and our ecosystem is in jeopardy.” He said.

The MyLITV report also confirms one of life’s great lessons: Showing beats telling.


FOLIO judges, many of whom are members of the region’s business and education community, say the MYLITV report is among the best examples this year of local journalism documenting efforts to encourage Islanders of all ages to protect and preserve our environment.

The FMC is one of the oldest, most successful media watchdog organizations in the country, advocating for quality local news and a media savvy society since 1979.


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