Monday, January 25, 2010

Green Schools Conference

Saturday January 23, 2009

Besant Hills School hosted this conference for schools in the region going 'Green.' It was a beautiful day in the upper Ojai Valley.

I was invited to show Watershed Revolution and talk about the importance of water education to over 100 teachers and students.

The Keynote Presentation was 'Smart by Nature, Educating for Sustainability,' presented by Karen Brown from the Center for Ecoliteracy. She concluded her talk with a photo of the first lady breaking ground on the new organic garden on the Whitehouse lawn. She attributed this historical moment to the teachers and students around the country who are making sustainability a priority.

We had the opportunity to learn about programs at Besant Hills and other schools in the region. Here we were shown the organic farm which helps provide food for the school. Besant Hills School uses simple cues, such as trash receptacles and compost, to remind students of resource cycles.

An inspiring presentation about Midland School, in the Santa Ynez Valley, showed how they engrain a sense of responsibility in their students. Aside from growing thier own food and caring for the land, the school is notorious for their 'shower fires.' Each day one student is reponsible for chooping wood to heat the water for his or her classes showers - the feedback is immediate if the job is not done!

It is inspiring to see educators working to shift the next generation into a revived eco-consciousness that will prepare a new generation of leadership.