Here's What's Trending in September
Welcome Back Eco-Schools!
So much to do, to prepare, to plan, but if nothing else, “back to school” is about a time when we as teachers begin making memories for and with each and every one of our students. From the first day of school, you welcome them with open arms, and guide them through exceptional learning experiences. Below is a list of “back to school” events to jump start the Eco-Action Team as they meet and prepare to engage the school community.
Introducing the WOW Pathway
As the new school year gets underway, Eco-Schools USA would like to introduce one of our new pathways, Watersheds, Oceans and Wetlands or WOW for short. Developed not only to support the 40% of our population that calls the coastline of the United States their home, but to address the growing need for conservation stewardship and a systems thinking approach to our current and future water problems. Our current Water Pathway will soon undergo a revision and solely focus on water conservation inside and outside the school walls.
The WOW audits are watermarked and indicate we are looking for feedback from our teachers during the 2017-2018 school year on the pathway’s ability to meet the school’s sustainability goals, while at the same time providing students the opportunity to drive change for our nation’s waters. Feedback can be sent to Eco-SchoolsUSA@nwf.org.
Schoolyard Habitat News
Are you ready to transform your school grounds? Join with schools around the world and register for the Green Apple Day of Service. Registering during September & October will enable schools to apply for funding and get access to other helpful resources. New this year, schools can choose any day between now and May, 2018 to complete their chosen project. It’s a great opportunity to create or enhance a school garden and to join a growing movement of schools across the world working to prepare the next generation of sustainability leaders.
Wildlife Library: American Alligator
Scaly skin, bony plates and powerful jaws are just a few of the characteristics of the American alligator, the largest reptile in the United States. Often confused with the American crocodile, alligators have a wide, round snout. You can find them in the southeastern U.S in marshes and coastal swamps. Learn more about the American alligator.
Be sure to have students read and enjoy The Amazing Alligator in the September issue of Ranger Rick magazine to learn more fun facts about alligators. And don’t forget to download the free Educator’s Guide that provides extension activities for the September edition.
Partner Highlight: Subaru of America
This past spring, the National Wildlife Federation partnered with Subaru of America to promote their Subaru Loves the Earth campaign. Four hundred thirteen participating Subaru retailers across the country partnered with local schools to create a Certified Wildlife Habitat garden at each school. The local Subaru retailer donated all the habitat elements wildlife need to thrive: food, water, cover and places to raise young, including native plants. Employees from many of the Subaru retailers got their hands dirty and helped students, teachers and administrators make a difference in restoring native habitat in urban, suburban and rural schools. This fall, 5 lucky schools will win a visit by a NWF Naturalist and real life animal ambassadors to reward them for their efforts.
Recycle Bowl Contest
Almost everything we do creates waste, and as a society we are currently producing more waste than ever before. With that in mind, jumpstart your school recycling program by participating in the Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl contest. This is a fun, engaging way to improve your school recycling rates or establish a new consumption and waste program. Registration is open now through October 13th, and the competition runs from October 16, 2017 to Wednesday, November 15, 2017. Visit the Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl website for more contest details and to register your school.
Woodlawn Blog Highlight
Thinking about becoming an Eco-School? Not sure what taking on sustainability can do to support student learning? Are you wondering if the Eco-Schools USA program will really make a difference for your school? Read Full STEAM Ahead for the Woodlawn Wildcats
on the National Wildlife Federation blog to find out how participation with Eco-Schools USA and The GLOBE Program
helped to transform Woodlawn School in Portland, Oregon.