NC Green School of Quality, 2019- present
Hilburn Academy, a public STEM model school in Wake County, was recognized as an NC Green School of Quality. The school has had a learning garden for some time, but during the past school year, Hilburn Academy took the initiative to empower students to make environmental changes in the school by forming a Green Team and targeting waste reduction.
Some projects included creating a vermicomposting bin, turning old shoes into collection boxes for recycling crayons and markers and making videos for the school news to encourage correct recycling and waste reduction.
Green Team coordinator and first grade teacher Danielle Smith notes that the Hilburn Academy wanted to give students opportunities outside of the regular brick and mortar classroom and help enrich their learning through hands-on experiences. “We noticed that schools contribute to a large amount of waste that goes into landfills, so we decided to take action,” she says.
Hilburn established a Green Team with the aim of providing a positive learning outlet where students can feel empowered to make a positive difference on their environment and the world around them, Smith says.
“We look forward to continuing to inspire more people throughout our community to make a change and hopefully encourage some future environmentalists as we aim to reduce our waste going into the landfill,” she says.