By Lori Corbin
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) — At one Inglewood middle school, every lesson involves the planet.
Environmental Charter Middle School focuses on the environment to teach students about the world.
“All of their classes emphasize some connection to the environment and their role within the environment,” said Beth Bernstein-Yam o, principal of the school.
She says each grade has a specific focus.
“The 6th graders might learn about the water cycle and what it means to preserve water. The 7th graders might be learning about sustainability and waste, 8th graders might be taking responsibility to our campus for creating all of the teaching and learning tools such as compost or waste reduction,” said Bernstein-Yamashiro.
The school offers hands-on education. Students plant, garden, even compost.
“It’s a great teaching tool to teach kids about the carbon cycle or nitrogen cycles. They learn also how hard it is to be responsible for something like this,” Bernstein-Yamashiro said.
For example, the school has a landscaping project that helps return rainwater to the water table, rather than have it contribute to urban runoff.
As they move to high school kids are encouraged to start clubs and get internships at national parks.
“Teaching children how to be agents of change. They take the information that they’ve learned and then go out into their community and do something with that info,” said teacher Tashanda Giles-Jones who heads up the Green Ambassadors program.
Along with what the kids learn here there is also something for the community it’s called the Green Ambassadors program. Teachers here actually teach other teachers in other schools so they can take what they’ve learned here and pass it on to the community.
“We teach other teachers how to do the things we’re doing. How to teach this type of environmental literacy and education in their normal core classes,” said Giles-Jones.