Schools and pre-schools inspire our children to collaborate, read, write, solve problems, explore science, history, and art, while providing them the opportunity to understand their place and impact on Earth, and the need to protect the world in which we all share. School buildings themselves have the power to make learning easier or more difficult. A room brightly lit with natural light, clean air, air temperature that’s not to hot or not too cold, and one void of air contaminants gives children the ability to think without hindrance. Schools whose administration, teachers, and student bodies actively conserve water, energy, and other natural resources, either by design or behavior become district leaders. Campuses utilizing gardens and other outdoor learning settlings and encouraging student field trips to local natural and historic places, inspire children to love nature and each other while learning core competencies, staying healthy and happy, becoming resilient, and setting them on a course for success.
During this unprecedented time of challenge for our schools and pre-schools, it is more important than ever to make healthy choices and use the great outdoors and our schoolyards as learning environments. Many of the organizations listed below (Helpful Links) provide guidance on teaching and stay connected to nature. See also Champions for our Children: COVID/Outdoor Learning Resources for tips and tools for teachers, parents, and school districts teaching in-person or virtually during this challenging time.
Administrations supporting strong parent and local business involvement…tutoring, mentoring, or working together with students in schoolyards and gardens…build healthy, strong, resilient communities. The value of our shared resource...schools...cannot be understated. Using our schools as a shared asset is a benefit for the whole community!
I work with school districts, individual schools/administrators, facilities, and school architects/engineers to design, update, and implement practices to:
My background as an engineer with an emphasis in water resources and environmental pollution control; long-time role as my children’s school Advisor for the Kids for Saving Earth Club and PTO Community Service & Sustainability Advisor; leadership in regional collaboratives and boards who's missions are to protect the natural environment and get children outside; certifications in designing and implementing gardens and outdoor learning environments; and and passion for the health & education of all children and protection of our shared Earth gives me the unique perspective to be able to identify and prioritize healthy changes (“tweaks”) that are readily implementable, effective, and inspired.
Allow me to hear about your school’s needs and priorities, and together we can:
I encourage you to visit the following websites, select several to become your favorites,* and implement their concepts a little at a time, building on your school’s successes. Please contact me for specific help or ideas!
*If you find one or more of these websites helpful, please consider contributing to the non-profit organization that brings us this important information.
You can't educate people that are not healthy. But you certainly can't keep them healthy if they're not educated.” Joycelyn Elders
In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; we and we will understand only what we’re taught. Baba Dioum