Building Successful Green Schools

Gina and Bonnie securing "best practices" from across the nation.

Gina and Bonnie securing “best practices” from across the nation.

The Green Schools National Conference (3/27-3/29) was invigorating!  We are not alone. Schools across the nation are faced with the same challenges as Michigan.  How can we successfully develop environmentally friendly cultures without overtaxing staff and budget?  We found out.

Step one is to nurture student appreciation for Earth and its natural resources by going outside. It can be as simple as examining a lady bug. Connection helps children recognize the fragility of nature.  The next essential component to building successful green initiatives are the students of course. Duh.  Ask them “what are your concerns?” Empower green teams to develop and implement programs. Their passion is contagious.  Have students go around and give 10 minute “how to recycle” presentations. This collaborative opportunity builds confidence, leadership development and critical thinking skills. Problem solving as a team will prepare our children for solving complex issues in adulthood.  Savvy students can make it happen (with a little coaching). 

To kick start the new 2014/15 school year PLP will be hosting a Student Summit this summer. Students will unite in an outdoor classroom to share ideas, devise strategies, develop projects, and a roll out plan.  By creating a framework with tangible goals and target dates, students can launch initiatives in September allowing ample time to achieve their school sustainability objectives. Date-TBD.




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