by Janet Staal, Director of Outdoor / Nature-Based Education
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, we’re excited to announce that West Side Christian School has been awarded the highest Evergreen award by the Michigan Green School. This organization recognizes Michigan schools that have taken great strides in integrating environmental literacy into their curriculum, buildings, school grounds, and overall building operations.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s important that WSCS is a GREEN school:
1. It’s God’s World and He loves it! Christ-centered education includes the clear scripture message about planet Earth and how we ought to relate to it.
Jesus is sending us into the world. We’re equipping students to live as Christ’s servants as they care for God’s creation and share God’s love through their actions.
This entire world is God’s. God made it, and it belongs to him (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24:1). God is glorified by it (Psalm 19:1). God reveals himself through it (Romans 1:20). God sustains it (Colossians 1:17). And God’s ultimate plan is to redeem and restore it (Revelation 21:1-2). For God so loved the world that He sent His Son, that whoever believes in Him will never perish.
Kindergarten worm compost bin and learning about composting rather than putting food scraps in the trash with Reimagine Trash.
2. Our students’ education begins with the future in mind. We’re designing learning experiences for students that will prepare them to lead the world toward a healthier, cleaner, more sustainable future. Teaching students about sustainability and the environment gives them the tools they need to solve the global challenges we face now and in the future. For instance, our seventh grade reached out to LGROW to be a part of a solution to a community water quality problem. We partner with Groundswell who provided a $1,000 grant to implement a student-led project that solves a real-world problem all while integrating academic content and problem-solving skills. Win-win!
3. We’re reducing environmental impact at school, which includes reducing energy and water use, reducing waste headed to the landfill and protecting natural habitats. Our students learn that their actions have an effect on humans and the Earth.
4. Our campus aka “living laboratory” gives access to hands-on learning resources for all grade levels. Our school’s diverse outdoor learning spaces (garden, certificated forest wildlife habitat and monarch waystation, etc.) foster empathy, exploration, adventure and a wide range of play and social opportunities all while enhancing health, well-being and engaging our whole community.
I notice that not everyone takes the time to sort their waste. I have an idea! We should make a fun video to encourage others to sort.
5. Our middle school Creation Care team provides an opportunity to cultivate leadership qualities. Our school models cooperative learning with others, critical thinking and discussion, and a focus on action strategies with real-world applications.
Thank you for partnering with us whether you send your children here, you’re an alum, a prayer warrior, or a financial supporter. Your support has helped WSCS receive recognition for this award. Together we are working to grow God’s Kingdom as our actions improve the world around us!
Join the conversation! Join our Creation Caretakers Closed Facebook Group – a place to support, learn, grow with, and inspire each other as we seek out ways to glorify God as we tell His story through our caring actions. Stay tuned to hear more about how our students are learning and working to make the world a better place as they proclaim the gospel. Happy Earth Day!