Earth Day is April 22, and students around the Academy are engaging in activities to learn about, celebrate, and help sustain Mother Earth.
At the Primary School, pre-K and kindergarten students were seeing an Earth Day-themed puppet show, presented by the third graders along with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency; first graders were reading on the theme; and second and third graders visited the Earth Day Expo in Mrs. Vicki Musto’s lab.
At the Lower School, Joseph Jamgochian, principal architect for the Upper School humanities building, is speaking to 6th graders about sustainable design and LEED construction. Leading up to Earth Day, sixth graders were involved in an art project to design a sustainable treehouse using biomimicry and a closed loop system. At Woodward North, teacher Kathy Smith planned a “book buddies” Earth Day activity for her class; art students in kindergarten through second grade were making a project using construction paper scraps; first grade is going paperless in the classroom and for homework; and second grade is taking a nature walk to explore the new bridge and trails.
The Middle School’s Green Team spent Monday, April 21, planting fruit trees and herbs around the school’s courtyard, under the edible garden concept which advocates growing fruit trees and herbs for decorative purposes and to help save energy and transportation costs as a local source of food. The Green Team also has been busy preparing for the mixed recycling program.
On Earth Day, Charles Orgbon III, the 17-year-old CEO of Greening Forward, visits campus to speak to Middle School and Upper School students. Greening Forward is a charitable organization that seeks to empower a global green movement to protect the environment, driven by young people. Charles Orgbon started the movement when he was 12 years old, in response to seeing litter all around his school campus.
The Upper School’s Environmental Awareness Club also planned an earth/sustainability-focused coffee house on Tuesday; a “Brownies for Batteries” exchange in the Student Lounge on Wednesday (students can trade in used batteries or ink cartridges for treats); and on Thursday planned to discuss “How Movies Move Us,” a focus on how films make people think differently about sustainability/stewardship.
Academy-wide, the mixed recycling program began rolling out during the week before Earth Day, and new labels more clearly marking receptacles were placed around campus. The project was coordinated by members of the Sustainability Council Operations Action Team with the support of other groups. It involved an extensive inventory of recycling and trash cans in all the Academy’s buildings and the use of standardized messages with RecycleAcrossAmerica labels. Larger size single-stream and cardboard dumpsters were brought in to accommodate the increase in recycling. For more information on recycling at Woodward, visit www.woodward.edu/go/recycling.
In addition, there will also be a spring e-cycle drive for electronics on Saturday, April 26, on Main Campus. For more information, visit www.woodward.edu/go/ecycle/ or contact Patty McIver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the dining halls, table tents promoting Earth Week asked students to recycle paper and plastic from their lunch trays. Locally grown produce, including strawberries, kale, yellow squash, and zucchini, was on the menu for Monday and Tuesday.