Last week we were delighted to receive word that Grace has been designated as a 2019 Green School by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. Under the leadership of teachers Marisa Martucci and Gavin Hymes, we completed an application that catalogued our many sustainable and environmental education practices over the last two to four years. From our recycling, to our compost, to our gardens, Grace is living into a mission of teaching children about the importance of caring for the earth.
Maryland Green Schools are part of a national and international community of sustainable green schools. There are 614 active Maryland Green Schools, making up over 27% of all Maryland schools. The Maryland Green Schools program encourages educational opportunities for PreK-12 schools that increase awareness and understanding of environmental relationships that impact public health and the local community. The program is aligned with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement 2014 goals, and supports Maryland State Department of Education graduation requirements and standards.
This designation means that over the past two to four years, Grace has demonstrated and documented a continuous effort to integrate sustainable environmental management practices, environmental education curriculum, professional development opportunities, and community engagement into our daily operations. This award signifies that our school has made a commitment to developing stewards of the earth and reducing our environmental impact.
“Our state has one of the strongest Sustainable Schools programs in the nation. Students, teachers, school personnel, parents, and community partners work together to create a positive learning environment. Student actions are essential to becoming a Maryland Green School,” writes Laura Johnson Collard, MAEOE Executive Director. “Schools that participate in the program save energy; reduce waste; conserve water; and create and restore habitat. More and more teachers are using the school grounds as an extension of the classroom . . . getting students outdoors is crucial for their connection with the environment.”
MAEOE will celebrate with Green Schools, Green Centers and schools that are interested in knowing more about the program at the Annual Maryland Green School Youth Summit on May 30, 2019, at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. We wish to thank Gavin and Marisa for their hard work and persistence, and our students and faculty for their commitment. Go Grace!