Celebrating Sustainability

an intergenerational gathering full of good earth-care energy

The environmental leaders of the future are already among us. They are in high school, middle school, elementary school … and kindergarten!

That was the take-away of Katonah-Lewisboro’s Sustainability Celebration on June 16—a intergenerational gathering full of good earth-care energy.

The catalyst for many of the environmentally engaged initiatives that happened in the 2021-22 school year can be traced to the new Sustainability Committee for educators, led by Dr. Mary Ford, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

chatting about energy conservation

New Sustainability Committee brings educators together for inspiration and collaboration

“I joined and was inspired,” said fourth-grade teacher Jane Emig. “If I can be inspired, I thought: my students can be inspired.” And they were. One of her students displayed his passive house design at the celebration—inspired by the models that high school students brought to Increase Miller Elementary. Another of her students showed an electrical circuit connected to a mini solar panel—inspired by what she learned about the wind and solar turbines in front of the school.

Environmental Physics Students

Projects Grounded in Change

High school students’ displays included environmental themed projects for Jill Hirshfeld’s Humanities Research class and a passive house model from Jim Panzer’s Environmental Physics class.

Ainsley, one of the middle school students, shared her action project for Melissa Brady’s Family and Consumer Science class. Thanks to her advocacy, caring for the school garden will be a new recess option in fall 2022. ACCESS MORE MIDDLE SCHOOL PROJECTS 

“It’s important for students to help in the garden,” said Ainsley. “We will be able to produce more for the Community Center of Northern Westchester.”

Advocacy for change was the unspoken theme of the event

Members of Meadow Pond’s Recycling Matters Club, led by Dr. Lara Monasch, showed photos of the many materials they diverted from the waste stream.

Representatives from Jackie Kovatch’s kindergarten class were on hand with persuasive writing pieces and protest signs about the changes they wanted to see in the world: more trees, no litter, save the animals. WATCH VIDEO OF THEIR IN-SCHOOL RALLY AND MARCH

Bedford 2030, Lewisboro’s Sustainability Committee and Sustainable Westchester each had a table, as well as KLSD’s Transportation Department, displaying photos of the electric school bus that is on its way!

Recycling Matters Club

Students Leaders in area of Sustainability address the Board of Education

The coda to the celebration was the students addressing the Board of Education. Ava, Fiona and Nola, all members of the Recycling Matters Club, spoke about how impactful it was to attend the district’s Recycling Road Trip and share what they learned with their school through posters and slideshows shared with students during lunch. Middle school students Kaitlyn and Elaina distributed Space Kid,” a science fiction book they had written about sustainable food choices, which will be housed in each of the elementary school libraries.  Their classmates Gracyn and Natalie spoke about the Breaking News broadcast they created for the elementary schools' morning shows which explored the connection between cow burps and greenhouse gases. Carolina, the rising president of the high school’s Earth Rise Sustainability Club, spoke about the group’s outreach to the wider community.

“We’re committed to developing the environmental leaders of the future,” said Steve Zoeller, the district’s staff developer for STEAM and sustainability. “It was wonderful to see so many of the sustainable initiatives happening at Katonah-Lewisboro in one room.”