Environmental Action Clubs
Each of our divisions has an Environmental Action Club with faculty and students working together towards the goal of sustainability. The following is a sampling of what they do.
Lower School - Earth Day…every day!
Fourth Grade EAC:
Fourth graders are invited to join the Environmental Action Club
for 10 weeks in the Spring. The club meets after school one day each
week. Each year the students brainstorm different ways to reduce our carbon
footprint and then implement one or more plans using the Earth Force
paradigm. This program encourages students to research and direct their
own ideas and to report back to the community.
In addition to their Earth Force Project that resulted in a certification from the National Wildlife Federation, last year fourth graders hosted two guest speakers from the Nature Conservatory and the TTF Watershed Partnership who shared their own careers in environmental education. The children also learned about rattlesnake rescue. The killing of these snakes lead to an overabundance of rodents in our environment.
Fifth Grade EAC:
Interested fifth graders are invited to apply to join the
Environmental Action Club, which meets weekly every Monday afternoon
from the end of September through the end of the school year. The EAC is
affiliated with the national organization Earth Force, and strives to
nurture and develop environmentally responsible citizens who:
- Understand environmental issues
- Know how to identify problems
- Know how to research solutions and create a plan to solve problems using skills such as:
- Public speaking (and speech writing)
- Designing effective posters
- On-line advocacy
- Fund raising
- Talking to people in power
Club size is limited to 20 students, there is a $30.00/year snack
fee, and there is a mandatory parent volunteer component (two Mondays of
Fifth Grade Environmental Action Club does the following:
- maintains the Lower School butterfly garden
- has built and maintains the Lower School pond
- is working to restore the Lower School woods to a native plant habitat, by removing invasive species and planting more and more shrubs, trees and ferns that are native to PA.
- is installing an outdoor benched classroom in the woods that will hold an entire class of students from any division. (gorgeous teak benches!!)
- tends the school's gardens by weeding, pruning and watering
- picks up trash all year
- manages the school's own composting efforts. They've had built and take care of all the cafeteria's vegetable and fruit wastes, as well as Lower School classroom compostables, and use the compost on school flower beds.
- presents an assembly each year and often organizes some kind of campaign for the Lower School on some kind of relevant environmental topic: No Waste Lunches, Composting, Recycling etc etc.
- works with an area organization, Earth Force, and attends their Youth Summit each year (see link at left) where they perform some kind of stewardship serivce.
The Middle School EAC meets once a week during lunch time activity period. Even within this limited time frame, the EAC members accomplish a lot. In the past few years the students have:
- watched clips of environmental documentaries and films
- held a used battery collection drive
- made a video about eutrophication to create awareness about the proper disposal of pet waste
- held a T-shirt drive and used the shirts to create reusable bags donated to Browsers
- planned and participated in the Lexus Eco Challenge.
The Upper school EAC has been working hard over the past two years to increase environmental awareness at GFS. Here are some of the events they have organized and held:
- Partial Screenings of the films Kilowatt Ours and Food Inc, to increase awareness of the environmental issues involved in generating electricity and producing food.
- Sales of healthy banana whips, and CFL light bulbs at the annual Fun Day.
- Two Saturday mornings volunteering for trail maintenance and clean-up in the Wissahickon.
- Running Awareness Campaigns about what is recyclable and what is not.
- Creating a push for large scale composting at GFS and an awareness campaign about that
- Creating "Bike and Car Pool to School" weeks
- Initiating a "These Came From Trees" sticker campaign on paper towel dispensers, toilet paper dispensers, and printers to help raise additional awareness.