GREEN SCHOOL OBJECTIVE III: COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS, AWARDS & SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS
OBJECTIVE 3.1: COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 - Trout Unlimited partnership for the Trout in the Classroom Program Each year, Atholton immerses itself in a mission to raise Rainbow trout from egg to fingerling, releasing the young fish in the spring. The entire school gets involved, as lessons are conducted in front of the fish tank on a regular basis to supplement instruction in all different content areas. One of the wonderful things about this program is that the kids get to release the trout right IN THEIR COMMUNITY! What more meaningful connection could there be than one in their own backyard when it comes to conservation. Below shows a map of the proximity of Gorman Park (bottom left) to Atholton (marked). We are so fortunate to work with the amazing volunteers at the mid-Atlantic chapter of Trout Unlimited, who make the Trout in the Classroom program possible for so many schools!
March 2017 - We are so proud of our Girl Scouts Troop 543! They earned their Bronze Award by working for several hours in Atholton's Outdoor Classroom. Not only did they scrub the benches and stage, they re-dug several of the wholes for our tree stump benches, so they were more solidly placed in the ground. They also trimmed the path and the outer edges so it was safer to walk down to our Ourdoor Classroom. Way to go, girls!
October 2016 - After tweeting a photo of our WasteFree cafeteria bulletin board, the Baltimore County Public Schools Office of Science Naturalist contacted AES to partner in our efforts to share ideas to support our respective Green Schools. What a powerful way to become a stronger community - even across county lines!
As always, the Howard County Conservancy continues to act as an environmental partner in education. We are so thankful for their experts, support, and their opportunities!
2015, 2016, 2017 - We are SO LUCKY to have Mr. Jim Tingy from Trout Unlimited as one of our faithful community partners. What a gem he has been for bringing his true talent and passion for art, education, and Trout into our classroom! After giving a presentation on the history of the trout, Mr. Tingy allowed every Troutkeeper to use his materials to create a watercolor fish, just like he does in his professional studio! What a treat for ALL of us!
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 - Terracycle has been a lifesaver for AES, regarding solid waste reduction. For many years now, we have sent Terracycle thousands of empty glue sticks and empty juice bags to be upcycled. For several years, AES even received funds for sending in our waste. Here is a screenshot of A LOT of glue stick and juice bag collecting - in the form of over $1,000, which goes into our Green School account to be used for items such as native plants and bird seed.
September 2015- DAY TO SERVE Atholton's community came out to school one weekend morning to beautify the school grounds, cleaning up trash, identifying plants in the new rain garden, filling the bird feeders, weeding, and trimming the pathway to the outdoor classroom and stream.
It started with Mrs. Young's daughter painting a sign to show our community spirit and our commitment to the day!
Once at the school, the real community spirit began! We love our school!
September 2015 - So lucky to have the Atholton PTA as committed partners in promoting our Green School culture. Our wonderful PTA works closely with our Green Team to include Greenwear in the annual Spiritwear sale to raise funds for Green School initiatives.
August 2015 - After several years of working with HCPSS Grounds Dept., we were put in touch with a wonderful lady from Chesapeake Bay Alliance, who led a group of READY volunteers to construct and plant our rain garden. And she even came back again to provide PD for our staff, parents and students! We were so grateful to such a super group of people, our administration personally provided Rita's frozen custard to them once the job was complete! Thank you, Chesapeake Bay Alliance!!!
April 2015 - Family Fitness Night brought our Atholton families out to participate in a physical activity that centered around the 3 Rs, while also teaching about best management practices. Our talented P.E. teacher created a game, ENERGY SAVERS, that all students played in PE during Earth Day Week, and then again with their families during Family Fitness Night. Sorting into the hula-hoops and then going to a station to expend energy matching the energy saved by composting or recycling was a brilliant idea!
September 2014 - Our AES families are our community, and we rely on their partnership to help support our Green School practices. Here's a blurb in the Panther Press, reaching out to our AES community. And they always come through!
May 2014 - Atholton's local Boy Scouts troop served its community by helping to spread wood chips throughout our Outdoor Classroom and down the trail to the stream. Looks like parents and siblings got in on the fun as well. Thank you, AES Boy Scout families!
April 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 - Reaching out to our AES families during Earth Day Week. Each year, while planning for Earth Day Week, one of the most important components is how we can reach beyond the boundaries of our school and have an impact in our AES families' homes as well. Below is a notice sent out in anticipation of Earth Day Week 2014:
April 2014 - The AES Green Team encourage students to attend the Howard County Greenfest. Any student who attended was entered into a drawing for a Flip & Tumble reusable bag. Two of the students from Atholton who attended, sent a picture to show their pride!
From the AES Green Team: The Howard County Greenfest is taking place this Saturday, April 4th from 10am to 4pm, right down the road at Howard Community College. What a great local place to get more information for living sustainably! If your child attends this insightful event, take a picture of him or her while at the Greenfest, and your child will be entered into a drawing to win a Flip n' Tumble reusable shopping bag, as well as a Lunchskins reusable snack pouch! Email the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org; the drawing will take place during morning announcements next Waste-free Wednesday, April 9th. Good luck!
September 2013 - Atholton fifth graders were so lucky to have the support of Patapsco Heritage Greenway, who put together an outstanding environmental experience for all 75 fifth graders. With a Day-to-Serve grant from Chesapeake Bay Trust, we headed to the Patapsco State Park for stream clean-up, a nature walk, and stream health monitoring. The students were amazed at the amount of trash they pulled from the stream and park. Thank you so much, fifth graders, P.H.G. and C.B.T.!!
April 2013 - A.E.S. Beautification Day is an annual tradition to get the AES community out on our school grounds to care for our garden beds and outdoor classroom. It's a great day to spend with staff, students, and parents. Check out the difference between our "Before" and "After" pictures - not bad!
April 2013 - One highlight of Atholton's Earth Day Week was to hear the stories of sustainable practices from the families that make up our school. Families were asked to share something they do to look out for the environment. Stories were shared during morning announcements, and then they were posted on our painted hallway tree for all to see and enjoy for the rest of the school year.
OBJECTIVE 3B: AWARDS & SPECIAL RECOGNITION
May 2015 - Since our Trout Release event was held on Mother's Day weekend, AES was featured on our school system's official Twitter page! Great to have our moms (and dads) with us for such meaningful experiences!
April 2014, 2015, 2016 - Each Spring, AES students of all different ages participate in Howard County's 20-Minute Clean-Up event.
February 2015 - After sending in juice pouches to Terracycle for several years, they recognized our efforts!
April 2014 - Exciting news posted in the AES parent newsletter, Panther Press:
October 2013 - The Center for Green Schools recognized Atholton for its participation in the Governor's Day to Serve initiative.
August 2013 - Atholton was awarded a grant by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, in conjunction with the Day to Serve initiative. The grant afforded the opportunity for our 75 fifth graders to take a field trip to the Patapsco State Park to clean up the river and to learn about stream health and native plants. Great day!
May 2013 - You never know who you will run into at MAEOE's annual Green School Celebration! Governor O'Malley was a passionate and sincere keynote speaker on a wonderful day for all MD Green Schools to celebrate! Then it was back to our own Howard County to be recognized for all of our green efforts at the Robinson Nature Center. Three of our students presented a poem, accompanied by a slideshow to show others how Atholton embraces and strengthens its Green culture.
May 2013 - The Howard County Public School System's newsletter for staff featured Atholton's AES Beautification Day for all to see!