06/12/16 by Juanita Teschner
Carolina International School third graders engage in their composting project with the help of parents.
Carolina International School (CIS) in Concord recently advanced to a NC Green School of Quality, a designation of the NC Green Schools Program, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in the state’s schools from pre-kindergarten through 12thgrade.
Under the auspices of the Center for the Environment at Catawba College, the NC Green Schools Program helps teachers connect and share ideas, offers resources and tools to help them start green initiatives and recognizes schools that meet specified goals.
The NC Green School of Quality certification is given to schools that are taking active strides in improving and maintaining sustainable practices and implementing a robust environmental education curriculum.
CIS Environmental Coordinator Tammi Remsburg was delighted with the advanced status. “Carolina International School is so proud to be honored with the designation of NC Green School of Quality for the 2015-16 school year,” she said. “This year was a year of firsts for us, with our first ever graduating class of seniors.
“In addition, we started a connection with 4-H this year,” Remsburg said. “Our first-grade 4-Hers won a blue ribbon at the Cabarrus County Fair for our first ever display at the fair. This vermiculture project of the first graders also won our school an award from the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce as their winner for Environmental Excellence and Sustainability.
“We had winners of the Cabarrus Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ contests this year as well,” she said. “We have enjoyed the branching out into the community that we have accomplished this year through these many awards. We hope to continue to live up to the great honor of being a NC Green School.”
NC Green Schools Coordinator Katie Cavert Ferrell lauded Carolina International School for its efforts. “Especially impressive are the principles of environmental education that are woven through at every grade level,” she said. “It is wonderful to see the community involvement and how much the school has progressed in just one year of gaining the NC Green School of Promise award. The school’s Earth Day Extravaganza definitely showcases student learning and community outreach.”
NC Green Schools Judge Torin Kexel also found the school’s efforts worthy of praise. “The Green School goals at CIS are a core component of a several-year plan that is updated regularly,” he said. “The green facilities promote energy and water conservation, and it is clear that there are innovative efforts being implemented at every level.”
John Wear, executive director of the Center for the Environment, is pleased that younger students are being encouraged to revere the environment and live sustainably. “We at the Center want to congratulate Carolina International School for its efforts to become a NC Green School of Quality,” he said. “It’s very important to help students become environmentally aware at an early age. The positive experiences they have now will inform their actions in the future.”
The mission of Carolina International School is to nurture students’ natural curiosity and joy of learning while they achieve academic excellence through a challenging, interdisciplinary, international curriculum. Students, parents, teachers, and staff help to create a stimulating learning community that develops critical and compassionate thinkers; confident and open-minded communicators; and resourceful and responsible citizens and leaders of local and global communities. To create resourceful and responsible citizens, CIS emphasizes the environment as well as the international component of its mission.