Wisconsin public schools national leaders for environmental education – Oshkosh Northwestern

by | May 23, 2022 | Education

Students at Fox River Academy need the usual supplies expected of any elementary and middle schoolers — a backpack, pencils, a notebook or two — but they also need a pair of boots, a raincoat and a willingness to get their hands dirty. On any given Thursday, it isn’t unusual to find the kindergarten to eighth-grade students at the Appleton environmental charter school  digging in the dirt or running down to the ravine near the school on the edge of Pierce Park for an outdoor excursion. In April, for example, the students spent a day outside building a hugelkultur garden — a self-sustaining garden bed made from plant debris. They were collecting broken tree limbs and fallen leaves to strategically pile onto a freshly raked garden bed. While preparing the ground, the students found worm after worm after worm. The younger students at one point found so many worms they made a “worm family.”Fox River Academy is just one example of the hundreds of green and healthy schools that make Wisconsin a leader in environmental education and the green schools movement.More:Home-schooling used to be a ‘fringe thing,’ but enrollment grew by more than 10,000 students during the pandemicGreen and Healthy Schools are defined by three goals: reducing environmental impact, improving health and wellness and environmental literacy. Often, green schools are environmental charter schools with project-based curriculum. Teachers say this gives students more ownership and autonomy in their education and integrates traditional subjects with environmental education. Other green and healthy schools use traditional teaching models and curriculum, but have taken steps to be more environmentally friendly with building upgrades such a …

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