Beloved NYC Science Teacher to Be Honored with Rooftop Eco-Center

When beloved 34-year-old science teacher Eric Dutt died suddenly last June because of an enlarged heart there was little that could be done to stem the feeling of loss at school.

The kind of teacher who wore tie-dyed shirts to class, proudly proclaimed his vegetarian lifestyle and was able to reach kids in ways few can, Dutt often wished for an ecology center on the roof of P.S. 6, the school on the Upper East Side of NYC where he taught.

So as students and staff struggled to decide how they would remember the man who touched so many, the answer soon became crystal clear: They would fulfill his dream of a greenhouse and ecology center on the school's roof.

As Marcia Sudolsky, a parent of two students and president of the alumni foundation put it "It's all part of his vision. It's out of a fondness ... that this grew."

In the months following the tragic accident that claimed his life, the concept took hold, growing into the Eric Dutt Eco Center, complete with space to conduct classes and solar panels to create renewable energy. And they’re also considering ways to reuse rainwater and compost leftover food from the school cafeteria.

Students quickly embraced the idea, with just one of the efforts being the selling of energy-efficient light bulbs to raise money.

"I can't really talk to him, but I feel like I can kind of, sort of, be with him when we go up there," said Hayley Rozencwaig, 9, a third-grader.

Amazingly, organizers have raised $300,000 so far, with corporate sponsors like the Durst Corp. and Pizzeria Uno lending a hand. Of course that still leaves them with a ways to go toward their goal of $1.2 million, but they are certainly making tremendous progress, and I don’t doubt they could use the donation of those out there in TreeHuggerville who might be able to lend a hand.

Perhaps the greatest legacy any of us can leave is in the hearts and minds of the people we touch on a daily basis, and Eric Dutt seems to have done just that in his all-too-brief lifespan.

See also:

Teacher, Students Work to Make Prescription Drug Disposal Sustainable
Teacher Wins Award from PETA for Classroom Bug Strategy

via: NY Daily News

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