06/24/16 by Juanita Teschner
Salisbury Academy students (from left) Charlie Barr, Mason Brixey, Jack Heilig and Christopher Portillo transplant seedlings at Garden Greenhouses as part of the school’s partnership with Two Pigs Farm.
Salisbury Academy recently received the NC Green School of Promise Award from the NC Green Schools Program, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in the state’s schools from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
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 Promise Award is given to schools that are taking initial steps to improve their sustainability and environmental education curriculum.
“Achieving an NC Green School certification is a true honor and one that required the creativity, dedication and teamwork of Salisbury Academy’s students and staff,” said Beverly Fowler, the head school for Salisbury Academy. “We are committed to being an environmentally conscious school and see our NC Green School certification as an exciting first step into a sustainable future.”
NC Green Schools Program Coordinator Katie Cavert Ferrell noted that Salisbury Academy can point to many accomplishments: “Especially impressive are Salisbury Academy’s strategic planning for enhanced outdoor learning environments, empowering student leaders, connecting students to local environmental resources and engaging in a plethora of community partnerships,” she said.
NC Green Schools Judge Lisa Tolley, who is the environmental education program manager for the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs, noted that Salisbury Academy’s application “did an excellent job of showing their commitment to being an NC Green School and to integrating environmental stewardship into the culture of the school.”
The application emphasized innovative plans to create outdoor learning environments and ways that students are engaged in the planning and implementation of projects. “The school’s work with the Natural Learning Initiative and its partnerships with other community partners, such as local farms, are definite strengths,” Tolley said.
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 Salisbury Academy for its efforts to become an NC Green School of Promise,” 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.”
Salisbury Academy is an independent, co-educational day school for children in junior kindergarten through eighth grade. Through its mission and experiential learning environment, the school encourages students to be lifelong learners, develop strong character, serve their community and deepen their faith.