Schoolyards as Classrooms Project Partner Schools

The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Climbing the Environmental Education Ladder program is a three-tiered approach to scaffold and cultivate sustainable environmental education within local schools. As the third tier of this program, the Schoolyards as Classrooms Project builds long-term partnerships with the following local schools.

Teachers work with the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Outreach Coordinator to use their schoolyard instructionally by getting students outside and engaged in topics they are learning in the classroom. The activities and lessons are tailored to fit a school’s needs, interests, and goals while utilizing resources at the school and meeting each teacher’s standards and curriculum needs. Each school has something unique that sets it apart from the others. Read on!

 


 

Trash Free Schools Project

Accokeek Academy (Prince George’s County, Maryland)
Henry G. Ferguson Elementary School and Eugene Burroughs Middle School are now Accokeek Academy. Staff members at this school have participated in our summer Environmental Science Teacher Institute as well as attended the annual Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Conference. Accokeek Academy is also a Trash Free School. They have quarterly integrated science days wherein science is taught throughout the school day in each subject area. They also hold large-scale annual Earth Day celebrations during which their schoolyard is beautified with cleanups and plantings, older students lead younger peers on nature walks, competitions are held for best nature rap, and much, much more! For more, please see the Accokeek Academy website.

Trash Free Schools ProjectAnne Beers Elementary School (Washington, DC)
Beers Elementary is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Catalyst School in Washington, D.C. They are a Trash Free School and students visiting the farm conducted a trash cleanup at the Potomac River and then conducted a schoolyard cleanup at their school as part of the Trash Free Schools Project. Teachers at this school previously participated in the Watershed Wise, DC partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation, run through the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). One of their four themes is Environmental Science, and classes at each grade level complete environmentally-themed projects. They have trees and gardens planted around their schoolyard. They partner with many other organizations to provide their teachers with environmental professional development and their students with environmental field experiences. For more, please see the Anne Beers Elementary website.

Bruce Monroe at Parkview Elementary School (Washington, DC)
Bruce Monroe has a high population of Hispanic students. Teachers at this school previously participated in the Watershed Wise, DC partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation, run through the District Department of the Environment. They have also participated in overnight canoe trips at Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center, funded through DDOE. For more, please see the Bruce Monroe at Parkview Elementary website.

Center City Public Charter School, Petworth Campus (Washington, DC)
A teacher at this school previously participated in the Watershed Wise, DC partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation, run through the District Department of the Environment. She also partnered with scientist volunteers through ReSET to do watershed education with her students. Located on an urban block with little green space, teachers have to think ‘outside the box’ about how to utilize their schoolyard instructionally. For more, please see the Center City Public Charter School website.

Trash Free Schools ProjectCésar Chávez Elementary School (Prince George’s County, Maryland)
César Chávez is a bilingual school – the majority of students are bilingual, all staff members are bilingual, and a small portion of each school day is instructed in Spanish. As a Trash Free School, César Chávez is working to increase recycling at the school and reduce waste in their cafeteria. A teacher has attended our summer Environmental Science Teacher Institute as well as Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Annual Conference. This school has a large schoolyard garden with two separate outdoor learning spaces that were installed with a $10,000 EarthDay Network grant. They have also received a $1000 water conservation grant through the National Environmental Education Foundation’s EE Week Mini-grant program and HSBC (César Chávez ES Garden Gets $1000 Grant). Through the Schoolyards as Classrooms Project, teachers work together to use the garden to meet state standards across the curriculum. The garden has made students feel proud of their school, and they look forward to each new school day. In fact, for SY 2009-2010, they made the most gains in the county for the reading MSA scores and the fifth highest gains in the county for the math MSA! For more, please see the César Chávez Elementary website.

Trash Free Schools ProjectGale-Bailey Elementary School (Charles County, Maryland)
A team of teachers at Gale-Bailey have attended our summer Environmental Science Teacher Institute. As a result of this training, more and more teachers are incorporating environmental education into their curricula. A team also attended Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Annual Conference. This school has a beautiful trail on its schoolyard, running through a stand of woods and down to a creek. Student and parent volunteers help maintain the trail each year, and teachers bring their students to the woods regularly for instruction. Gale-Bailey is also a Trash Free School with a thriving Green Club, led by an energetic member of the staff. Since partnering with the Alice Ferguson Foundation and increasing student and teacher awareness of their environment and stewardship, interest in the club so high that they have to put some students on a waiting list! The Green Club conducts fundraisers by selling eco-friendly products from reusable sandwich/snack bags to decorated rain barrels. They have attended the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Potomac River Watershed Cleanup and Trash Summit, conducted schoolyard cleanups and other service projects. The Green Club does weekly announcements to the school and has taught their peers how to properly recycle in the lunchroom as well as helped the school eliminate polystyrene lunch trays from the cafeteria. For more, please see the Gale-Bailey Elementary website.

Trash Free Schools ProjectHarriet Tubman Elementary School (Washington, DC)
Many students at Tubman are bilingual. Teachers at this school previously participated in the Watershed Wise, DC partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation, run through the District Department of the Environment. They are a Trash Free School and students visiting the farm conducted a trash cleanup at the Potomac River as an action project in the Trash Free Schools Project. They have also participated in overnight canoe trips at the Alice Ferguson Foundation, funded through DDOE. This school has an edible garden as well as a beautiful courtyard. For more, please see the Harriet Tubman website.

Trash Free Schools ProjectIndian Head Elementary School (Charles County, Maryland)
Several teachers at Indian Head Elementary have participated in our summer Environmental Science Teacher Institute and one teacher has helped co-lead the Institute multiple times. This school is a Maryland Green School and teachers have attended the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Annual Conference.

The town of Indian Head is working toward certification in the Sustainable Maryland Certified program and the school is seeking to use the Trash Free Schools Project to help reach this goal.

Myrtilla Miner Elementary School (Washington, DC)
Teachers at Miner Elementary previously participated in the Watershed Wise, DC partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation, run through the District Department of the Environment. One teacher has also attended our summer Environmental Science Teacher Institute. This school has a teacher-friendly outdoor classroom, complete with amphitheater-style seating. For more, please see the Myrtilla Miner Elementary website.


Patuxent Elementary School
(Prince George’s County, Maryland)
Patuxent Elementary is a Maryland Green School. They continue to participate in our Summer Environmental Science Teacher Institutes, both by sending new teachers to participate and by being special guests to present to teachers their process to become a Maryland Green School, the benefits of environmental education to their student body, and where they are going from here. They are profiled in PBS’s Growing Greener Schools series. For more, please see the Patuxent Elementary website.

Rosaryville Elementary School (Prince George’s County, Maryland)
Staff members at Rosaryville Elementary have attended our summer Environmental Science Teacher Institute. This school planted a special garden in their courtyard with native plants. The Alice Ferguson Foundation worked closely with teachers, administration, and maintenance staff to beautify this outdoor learning space. For more, please see the Rosaryville Elementary website.

Trash Free Schools Project
Watkins Elementary School (Washington, DC)
Watkins is part of the Capital Hill Cluster School in Washington, DC. Multiple teachers, staff, and parents from this school have attended our summer Environmental Science Teacher Institute. One teacher has also attended Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) annual Conference. They have an outside classroom space as well as 20 themed school gardens, including an edible garden, wetland garden, and wildlife habitat garden. Teachers use these gardens instructionally, and through a partnership with Fresh Farm Markets, they participate in Food Prints in which their students plant, harvest and cook vegetables from their edible garden. They have received outside grants as well, including funds from the Capital Hill Community Foundation to help students go on field studies related to watershed education. For more, please see the Watkins Elementary website.