Last Friday, sixth grade students learned about and worked the school’s compost.  As they have been for the last seven years, the sixth grade class is responsible for running Friends School of Minnesota’s school-wide composting program.

Every classroom and our lunch room collects compostable items separately from recycling and landfill waste. Sixth graders collect compost each day from around the school and bring it out back to one of the school’s three compost tumblers.  They mix that compost with “browns” (dried leaves raked up every fall from around the school) and give the tumbler a spin or two.

Last week, we worked together to screen older (2-3 years old) compost. This gave us about a 55 gallon drum of finished compost to spread on our raspberry bushes and raised garden beds. Students also took compost from the tumblers and moved it into our 4-bin system where it will be finished.  Now our system is all ready for winter and next spring we will repeat the process.

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Running the compost program is just one way we integrate service learning into school life at Friends School of Minnesota. Our middle school students also run the recycling program, work at the Friends School Plant Sale to raise money for tuition aid, and many of their field trips have a service component. Doing service for their community helps children feel connected and know they can make a difference in the world.

– Steve Moe, Middle School Science Teacher