As part of Michigan’s Adopt-A-Highway program, Dart Container collected 72 bags of litter a few weekends ago from Michigan highways. An active participant in the program since 2010, Dart brought out nearly 25 employees, friends and family to help with the cleanup effort. The company has adopted the two-mile stretch of Highway 127 between Cedar Street Exchange and Railroad Bridge, which they are responsible for cleaning up biannually. With one litter pickup in the fall and one in the spring, Dart is committed to keeping Michigan clean.
“At Dart, we have a commitment to keeping our communities free of litter,” said Human Resources Assistant for Dart Container, Dianne Norton. “But what really impresses us is our employees shared commitment to improving the environment. And we’re proud to say that for the last several years, thanks to their hard work, our adopted area is one of the cleanest on the highway.”
According to Recycle Supervisor Ralph Spitz, the long-term commitment is paying off. “While our manpower is increasing from year to year, we are really excited to see the number of bags we’re collected decreasing. When we started this program four years ago, we filled more than 100 bags, whereas today, we filled far less than that!” Last year’s spring cleanup yielded 80 bags of trash and only 60 during the fall cleanup, which took place in September.
As the world’s largest manufacturer of foam cups and containers, Dart has always been committed to recycling. Any foam products picked up in the cleanup will be taken to the Dart processing plant, where it can be recycled into products such as crown molding and picture frames. All other litter will be collected by Michigan’s Refuge Services.
To ensure safety for the family event, all volunteers underwent training prior to the cleanup, which addressed both highway safety and proper handling of litter.
“My family and I do our part at home to reduce waste – by recycling foam, plastic and paper,” said Jean Baker, Dart employee and member of highway cleanup team. “Still, we participate each year because it’s our opportunity to help clean up the community for neighbors and to have an even greater impact on the environment.”
Dart Container Corporation is headquartered in Mason, Michigan and privately held by the Dart family. Brothers Robert and Kenneth Dart have both worked for Dart Container, as well as sitting on the board of the Dart Foundation. Dart Container today employs over 15,000 people in more than 45 production, distribution center, and office locations in eight countries.
Students at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia will get the chance to enroll in engineering courses over the next three years, courtesy of a $35,000 grant by the Dart Foundation. The grant was part of Project Lead The Way, which integrates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts through hands-on, project-based learning. The school was announced as the recipient of the grant to implement the PLTW Engineering program, exposing students to real-world learning and preparing them for college and careers.
According to the selection committee, Heritage High was chosen because it “demonstrated the strong support of its school administration, district, and community partners. Heritage High School’s plans for engaging all students in PLTW Engineering, as well as its plan for sustaining the program after the three-year grant ends, contributed to its selection.”
Designed for students in grades 9-12, the PLTW Engineering program teaches students to solve problems, think critically and collaborate with their fellow students to find solutions. Thanks to the generous grant amount, students will have the opportunity to use industry-leading technology and software to study topics such as biological engineering, aerodynamics and astronautics, robotics, manufacturing, and digital electronics. By completing a PLTW course, many students will earn college credit, admissions preferences, or scholarships.
Project Lead The Way President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Bertram said, “Every student in America deserves access to rigorous, hands-on, relevant STEM education, but we cannot do this work alone. The Dart Foundation is a critical partner in this effort, and we are extremely grateful for their support.”
“As a funder of STEM education programs, we look for opportunities that encourage science and math learning as well as career exploration,” said Trustee Ariane Dart of the Dart Foundation, the charitable arm of the Dart Container Corporation. “Project Lead The Way engages students in these disciplines through curriculum that makes these subjects relevant in the classroom and beyond.”
Dart Container is the world’s largest manufacturer of foam containers and cups, producing more than all of their competitors combined. Dart has been a family affair since its founding in 1937. Ariane is joined on the Dart Foundation board by her mother Claire and Robert and Kenneth Dart. The Dart Foundation, headquartered in Mason, Michigan, was founded by William A. and Claire T. Dart with the intent to encourage youth education, particularly in the STEM areas of study. PLTW is the leading provider of STEM programs in the country, with programs being offered in over 5,000 elementary, middle and high schools.
As of Wednesday, March 12, the Camana Bay Farmers Market will be expanding to include artisans of many local crafts. In previous weeks, the event has simply closed parts of Market Street for the vendors to put up their stalls. With this expansion, vendors will be spread along the paseo and other parts of Camana Bay.
In addition to the emphasis on local artisans, organizers have added more entertainment offerings and cultural displays. The market will run every Wednesday for an expanded amount of time, from noon to 8 pm at Camana Bay.
“The great thing is today we are adding the artisan component and expanding the time, it’s from 12 to 8 and that gives people more opportunity to come out,” said Kenneth Hydes of Camana Bay. “We’re trying to appeal to the local population, as well as tourists to give them an idea of what’s available locally and able to be produced locally.”
Camana Bay was developed by Dart Realty, a subsidiary of Dart Enterprises owned by Kenneth Dart. Stretching 500 acres from the famous Seven Mile Beach to the tranquil North Sound, Camana Bay is one of the first examples of New Urbanism in the Caribbean. Through this and other projects, Dart is dedicated to the prosperity of the Cayman Islands and the quality of life for its residents.
The Mason Public Schools Foundation (MPSF) has named The Dart Energy Foundation and Dart Foundation the winners of their Top Dog award. The MPSF created the award to recognize organizations and individuals that have gone the extra mile to support Mason Public Schools.
The award was presented on February 1st to Christine Waltz, chief financial officer of Dart Container Corp., and Phil Leece, president of Dart Energy Foundation at the Foundation’s Red Carpet Gala Dinner and Auction. Carrie Geyer, MPSF president said, “We simply can’t thank the Dart Energy Foundation and Dart Foundation enough. Their contributions have helped increase the learning opportunities for many of our Mason kids.”
The ceremony acknowledged the extremely generous donations made to the Mason Public Schools Foundation by the two organizations. Their 2013 donations were used to launch a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program at the elementary grade level. Kicking off in the 2013-2014 school year, the program attracted nearly 100 Mason students in grades 3-5. The monthly after-school sessions allowed the students to learn and experience science through the use of robots.
Both The Dart Energy Foundation and Dart Foundation are named after the generous Dart family, owners of Dart Container and active board members of the foundation. The current board members include Claire Dart, Ken Dart, Robert Dart, and Ariane Dart. The mission of the Dart Foundation is to advance and encourage youth education, primarily in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In the Cayman Islands, George Town Primary School has received donations from many local businesses to support field trips, weekend math classes and participation in the performing arts. A total of $8,000 was raised from eight different local businesses, including Dart Enterprises (owned by Ken Dart), DMS Organization, Deloitte, Appleby, Foster’s Food Fair, Cayman Enterprise City, Comfort Suites Ltd, and Ernst & Young.
The fundraising is just beginning however, as the school aims to raise $60,000 to complete its Performing Arts Centre, after the building itself was donated by Davenport Development and other companies. Businesses have the opportunity to donate between $2,000 and $5,000 to the new development and will have their name placed on the Donor Wall in return.
PTA President Cheyenna Stewart said the facility is designed to help the island preserve its heritage. “Having a central place in the school for these types of activities means this becomes a hub where many like-minded people can come together for the benefit of our children,” she said.