06/25/18 by Juanita Teschner
Providence Day School (PDS) has received the NC Green School of Quality award for its ongoing sustainability efforts.
The program, under the auspices of the Center for the Environment at Catawba College, recognizes both public and private schools in the state that promote sustainability. Twenty schools have been recognized through the program.
Program Coordinator Katie Cavert Ferrell noted that she was especially impressed with Providence Day School’s efforts to create a culture and community focused on sustainability. “They have initiated wonderful opportunities for hands-on student learning and stewardship on school grounds through field studies and garden projects,” she said. “We also applaud their success in improving operational sustainability, a difficult task for so many schools.”
PDS upper school English teacher Jack Hudson explained that the school views environmental sustainability as a key component of its mission. “We have named three sustainability coordinators who work with faculty and staff across all grade levels to develop and implement school initiatives committed to the understanding, appreciation and stewardship of natural ecosystems,” he said.
During the past year, PDS initiated grade-level service learning projects centered on environmental justice issues and established Environmental Studies electives in the middle and upper schools, according to Sarah Goodman, middle school science teacher and sustainability coordinator. Other ongoing projects include a campus garden, waste sorting and composting.
Olga Mawougbe, lower school science teacher and sustainability coordinator, said PDS is proud to be named an NC Green School of Quality. “We’re committed to responsible environmental stewardship and the pursuit of the next level of Green School recognition,” she said.
The NC Green Schools Program is an organization that promotes sustainability in the state’s public and private schools from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. It helps teachers connect and share ideas, offers resources and tools to help them start green initiatives and recognizes schools that meet specified goals. The goals include becoming responsible stewards of natural resources; promoting life-cycle products for school materials to help reduce waste; and integrating hands-on learning and field studies that help students experience and understand the natural environment.