Environmental education at Friends School of Minnesota seeks to prepare students to become citizens and stewards of the earth. Whether on a week-long trip to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, a nature walk in the park, or collecting the school compost, environmental education is woven throughout FSM’s K-8 experience. Here is some great news that demonstrates our community’s commitment to environmental education.
Presenting FSM Environmental Education Work
Last month, members of Friends School of Minnesota’s environmental education committee–Melissa Andersen, Linda Mockler, Steve Moe, Marshall Anderson, and Shane Zack–gave an informative and passionate presentation about our environmental education program to FSM’s school committee (FSM’s school board). In this presentation, our school committee members were able to learn more about the history of the program at FSM. Environmental education committee members explained the intrinsic connection between Quaker education and environmental education, and provided details about how our environmental education program is a central thread in the fabric of FSM.
Friends’ schools have a special obligation to include environmental education in their programs in order to promote a sustainable future for all life.Our students should learn how they can best understand, preserve, and restore the natural processes, resources, and beauty so vital to the Earth and to humankind’s physical and spiritual health.These goals grow directly from fundamental Quaker beliefs and testimonies.” FEEN (Friends Environmental Education Network) “Statement of Purpose” adopted by FSM School Committee (2002).
Working with Other Schools
FSM’s environmental education committee met last month with teachers from a neighboring independent school who were interested in learning more about how to begin an environmental education program at their school. We hope that this partnership will help to inspire other schools to join us on our journey.
New Environmental Club
This fall, middle school teachers Steve Moe and Melissa Andersen started a new environmental education club to provide a time and place for kids that are interested in helping the environment to mobilize and take action by working together on several projects throughout the school year. Read all about the Middle School’s New Environmental Service Club in this post from November.
A Generous Gift to FSM Environmental Education
While all these events are fabulous in their own right, we were elated to recently receive an endowed gift of $25,000 from an anonymous donor for our environmental education program. This gift will help ensure that our environmental education program remains strong–that every student is able to attend an overnight in the wilderness, that busses will remain operational so that students can continue to access the natural wonders we have in our own back yard (like the kindergartners who recently took a trip to Minnehaha Falls), and that we can maintain our composting and recycling efforts here at school, among other things.
We are so fortunate to have a faculty and school community who are committed to issues of sustainability, appreciation for our environment, and the importance of connecting the natural world to our students’ learning. These are the simple things that plant seeds of greatness. These are the simple and generous gifts that make our school great.
Latrisha Chattin, FSM head of school