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Teacher creates green classroom for learning | Community Spirit

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Teacher creates green classroom for learning
Teacher creates green classroom for learning

DORAVILLE, Ga. -- While going green is something some schools are starting to embrace, teacher Kristen Drake has done so for years.

The second grade teacher at Hightower Elementary in Doraville has developed a program that saves an estimated 12,000 copies of paper per subject per day.

Her mantra is "reduce waste, increase achievement."

The lessons have become a way to teach kids without them realizing they're learning.

"There are math games and social studies and science games," said Elijah Darby, a third grader who had Drake as a teacher last year.

"I bought worksheetless.com," she said.

With the website, she has created more than 500 paperless lessons from daily instruction assignments to tests.

Her nearly 10 years of work on technology in the classroom snagged her a coveted Milken Educator Award and a whopping $25,000 in 2006.

Since then, "I've revised my website. It used to be just for kids. I've now created one for parents and one to share with teachers," said Drake. "I've done videos of everything that we do in the classroom."

The lessons she has developed helped her compete with the nation's top educators at Microsoft's Innovative Education Forum in Redmond, Washington in July.

"She's actually one of 102 that were selected to go to finals," said Shea Lewis, a Microsoft spokesman. "All of the great information shared at each one of the events will be shared and be made available to educators around the world."

Drake is also one of only 29 from 14 states to move the next level.

She's a winner of 11Alive's Class Act Award.