Brown School-Green Strides 2017 School -Captain Samuel Brown School, Peabody, MA Principal -Elaine Metropolis Assistant Principal – Erik Brenner Environmental Eagles Coordinators -Diane Bugler, Joanne Campbell, Jackie Regan, Suzanne Manfredonia, Erin McAllister Garden Club- Sheila D’ Ambrosio Meteorology Club -Diane Bugler BOKS -Jon Everson Parent Green Team Members -Bill Tracia, Kristin Bresnahan, Erin Silva We have been engaging the staff, students, and parents for ten years in various “Green Strides” to make our school more environmentally sustainable. The core model of the program is teaching the older students to be model “green” citizens in school, at home, and in the community. We do this by integrating environmental topics into the curriculum and through community service projects. By connecting the topics to their environment we hope they see a relationship with the importance of making good choices about the place where we live, no matter how small those choices may be. Students who work on service learning projects see their work “come to life”. They are able to see the results of their efforts and often can collect real data to measure their success. The community outreach projects connect our school with home the community.
A new outdoor classroom made of all natural materials was installed in the spring of 2016. This has provided an opportunity for teachers to conduct science lesson in a natural environment. During the summer, it is utilized by the special education program. 5th Grade Curriculum We have an evolving integrated environmental curriculum across all the content areas. Topics are introduced in specific focus units by presenting, discussing, analyzing data, and evaluating environmental topics. Our goal is to give students the tools to be critical thinkers and leaders in our school and community. Students are given ownership and responsibility to empower them to take action in their everyday lives. We use a variety of resources including publications from the FOSS science curriculum, need.org, Facing the Future, Northeast Global Education Center at Salem State, and other websites as well as current events from the news. Units of study include study of global regions with environmental impact. We also study feasibility of alternative energy sources; wind power in New England, biodiesel versus ethanol, and solar power There are investigations surrounding water; keeping water clean, how water should be conserved, and the animals in that live in our local waters is also a focus in classroom lessons and field experiences.
Field Experiences – Grade 5 Salem Sound Coastwatch – Keeping Water Clean Program Salem Sound Coastwatch- Plastics Awareness Art Project Joppa Flats – Tide pooling, Erosion, Saltmarsh, and Bird Conservation programs MWRA – Water Monitoring Program BOKS Kids (Grades K-5) A before school exercise/healthy eating program where students have fun doing aerobic activities that challenge them to improve their personal goals. A nutrition component is part of the program; there are discussions about healthy eating and a healthy snack is often provided. Garden Club (Grades 4 & 5) The Garden Club meets during the spring and fall, and is maintained by the families during the summer. The goal is to teach children the benefits of growing your own food, eating well, and gardening techniques for starting a garden at home. Students are mentored by members of the local adult garden club. The garden is located in the front of our school so it serves as a resource for lessons for the entire school. Some plants are started in an indoor hydroponic garden for student investigations. Decaying plants are used for Science investigations in the fall. We are currently working with a Boy Scout to develop a project to repair and expand the current garden. The project will include a hoop garden bed to expand the growing season. Meteorology Club (Grade 5) In the Meteorology Club 5th grade students study advanced weather analyzing techniques using National Weather Service Barotropic Charts, Area Forecast Matrices, and computer models as well as personal observation and critical thinking to predict the atmospheric conditions of our area. Students become keen observers of environment around them and become quite capable weather forecasters.
The Environmental Eagles (Grades 4 & 5) This is the capstone environmental program at the Brown School; 4th and 5th grade students works on environmental community service projects throughout our school and community. The focus of the program is for the students to select projects that will help educate others about environmental issues. The club sets a plan of action and carries out various projects. All these projects are working towards our school becoming a more sustainable building. Green Schools – Our collaboration with Green Schools has strengthened the curriculum and program goals. Students are part of the National Green School Honor Society and have held elections. The process of setting goals and choosing candidates with the best vision for our club helped us focus our mission. Elected students keep a journal, write blog entries and apply for the Green Difference Award. The Illumination Project-“Turning Old Wax into New Light”. We repurpose old candles donated by community members into new votive candles and sell them at events. A portion of the proceeds goes to charity.
Keep America Beautiful Recycle Bowl-. We recycled 9359 pounds of materials during a four week period. Students collected data during the Recycle Bowl period then used a volume to weight conversion per the contestrequirements. Students arc in charge of all the recycling programs in the school which includes the paper andplastic recycling as well the hard to recycle materials through the companies “Funding Factory” and “Teracycle”. Students package these materials and ship them off to the vendors. Students run a continuous audit of the recycling in each classroom; when a classroom is not recycling properly they brainstorm ways to fix the problem. Various strategies are used ranging from writing notes to the teachers or create skits to teach a concept. Recycling of soda can “tabs” as a fundraiser for the Shriner’s Hospital. Additionally, students make jewelry out of soda can tabs and sell at school events. A portion of the money goes to to charity. Lou’s Upcycles – Lou Leelyn instructs the students to make fused plastic purses/pencil cases and gives a lesson on keeping plastic out of the landfill. Students replicate the process and sell their own creations at GreenFest. Crayons – we recycle old crayons, melt them down and make new ones and sell them at events. Calendars – students repurpose old calendar photos by folding them into envelopes and sold at events. Puzzle pieces – puzzles with missing pieces are crafted into pins and sold at events. Science Fair – annual Science Fair run by Peabody Municipal Light Plant GreenFest –
Our students were wellrepresented at Peabody’s annual Green Fest. Our students make items to sell at the event ( candles, crayons, upcycled pouches, can tab jewelry) as well as present eco-friendly science fair projects. We were chosen as the site for this event four years ago because of our efforts with sustainability.