Meet the Green Team
a scaffolding of environmental allies, events and opportunities
Zoey, Emily and Mia had a big idea. For their Family and Consumer Science class project, the seventh graders wanted to host a farmers’ market on the back lawn of John Jay Middle School. Their teacher, Melissa Brady, arranged for them to meet with an expert, Jo Moore, the Education Programs Manager at Hilltop Hanover Farm, while she was visiting John Jay to speak to Brady’s students about sustainable agriculture and food systems.
After speaking with Moore, the students had a plan: They’d host a booth offering organic food from local farms at the District’s Sustainability Celebration on April 25, an event which is open to the whole community.
JJMS Green Team at Hilltop Hanover Farm
a district-wide club, and so much more
This is how the Katonah-Lewisboro Green Team grows: Integrating sustainability into student learning and empowering students to run with ideas that impact their world. The Green Team is a district-wide club, but so much more. It’s a scaffolding of environmental allies, events and opportunities that help teachers and students have a place to go with good ideas.
“Our job is to educate and empower students,” said Dr. Mary Ford, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and the leader of Sustainability in our Schools, a think-tank of Katonah-Lewisboro educators. “The Green Team is a movement that is helping to shape the change makers of the future.”
The district's commitment is top down, and bottom up
The district is supporting sustainability from the top down: Districtwide staff developer for STEAM and sustainability, Steve Zoeller, is tasked with working with teachers to develop curriculum and incorporate sustainability into content areas. Brady and high school physics teacher Jim Panzer work alongside him as curriculum integration leaders.
And from the bottom up: The mother of elementary school green teams is Meadow Pond’s Recycling Matters Club, led for over a decade by Dr. Lara Monasch, the school’s psychologist. The club’s fourth and fifth grade members choose a specific item to divert out of the waste stream each month, such as used Halloween costumes in November, and champion recycling and composting throughout the year. The students make movies and posters that encourage others to waste less. The club also speaks about sustainability at school assemblies.
seniors Share Passive House Designs at IMES
students see themselves as earth advocates
The impact is real. Not only are thousands of pounds of items rehomed, but the students see themselves as earth advocates.
Recycling Matters has become the model for elementary-level Green Teams established this year at Increase Miller Elementary School, led by Jane Emig, Lauri Griffin and Lisa Burroughs and Katonah Elementary School, led by Sharon Paige.
Strength is already building. The fourth and fifth graders across elementary schools collaborated with older students to speak about sustainability both at the last Superintendents Conference Day and at John Jay’s recent Workshop Wednesday for juniors and seniors.
The Green Team's Impact is diverse and colorful
The Green Team’s impact is diverse and colorful, like light shining through a prism.
Fourth graders at Increase Miller Elementary are peering into passive houses designed by high school students in Environmental Physics class. Katonah Elementary’s kindergarteners are learning about the needs of seedlings by planting radishes in the school garden. Meadow Pond Elementary’s fifth graders are creating edible cafeteria centerpieces in re-used lettuce containers and John Jay Middle School students are recycling markers. At the high school, students are distributing trees throughout the community to replenish the environment.
Celebrate all of this and more at the KLSD Sustainability Celebration!