In the Upper School English course, Genre Writing I, II and III, a junior/senior elective writing trimester course, each semester focuses on a different sustainability theme (e.g. waste, mind and body, and food and water). Students learn about these topics through various methods (articles, TED talks, movies and field trips to such places as a grocery store and a landfill) and use various genres to write about these themes.
Third Grade Stream Testing and Great Lakes Unit
Third graders learn about the Great Lakes and focus on Lake Michigan through various hands-on and service-learning activities. Their main project is to monitor the water quality of Prairie Stream (named by the current 7th graders), the little stream that runs into Lake Michigan just south of Shoop Park. Upon the encouragement and desires of one student, his father and subsequently the entire class, this project has become a year-long endeavor. Families join the teachers on Saturdays throughout the spring, summer and fall to gather water samples from several locations. These samples are analyzed by the DNR using monies awarded through various grants the teachers have received. Early testing indicated that the stream was “impaired” due to high phosphorous levels. A consortium of adults from various community and state organizations meets approximately twice a year to review the data and make suggestions for further work. Besides testing the water, the students have written articles about the water quality for the Wind Point newsletter.
The Giving Garden
- This garden was created years ago by master gardener volunteers and was re-vamped by the C.L.A.S.S. program in 2012. Primary school students plant seeds in the spring, often first in pots that germinate in the school’s green house, and harvest the produce in the fall. Some of this produce is served in the dining room; the rest is donated to the local food pantry.
- C.L.A.S.S. is also using produce from the garden to make soup for Empty Bowls, a Racine program that support the economically disadvantaged.
- Upper School and Middle School students also work in the garden during the summer or fall/spring.