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EB Students Tackle Eco-Challenges with the "Eco-Ecole"

Elodie Resurreccion, French Curriculum Coordinator
At EB, we believe that students need to be equipped to confidently embrace the delights and challenges of an interconnected world. Yet in our rapidly changing world, our nation’s wildlife continues to be faced with critical challenges.
At this moment, more than a third of our country’s species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. In the last 20 years, the monarch butterfly’s population has declined by 90 percent. America’s free-ranging bison, which once numbered 20 to 30 million, is down to fewer than 5,000 individuals. 

In the face of these challenges, EB has adopted a program created by the National Wildlife Federation. The NWF remains at the forefront of the fight to tackle wildlife’s greatest threats, working collaboratively to increase wildlife populations and enhance their capacity to thrive. That’s why EB is following their global environmental education program: Eco-School USA Program to educate our younger generations on natural science and the environment while supporting the development of a lasting conservation ethic and connection to nature and the outdoors.

At the beginning of the year, our students elected éco-délégués in grade 3 to grade, and since then they have been meeting regularly.

At their last meeting, the LS eco-délégués decided to conduct a pathway audit on waste and consumption. The aim of the waste audit is to measure the weight and types of waste produced by EB in one day. It is an integral part of a school’s waste reduction campaign. Waste will be collected, sorted, and weighed by students, teachers, and other helpers. The data collected will help them measure the effectiveness of their campaign. The audit will be carried out prior to the implementation of a school action plan to reduce waste and again afterwards, in order to measure the reduction levels achieved.

This step is one more towards achieving the bronze award. The Bronze Award is the first of three award levels in the Eco-Schools USA program. For many, this is the first symbol of success in the Eco-Schools USA program. To be eligible for a Bronze Award, a school must follow the Seven Step Framework to complete at least one pathway. On each step, you win points, in total there are 100 points.

  • We completed step 1 (15 points): Form an Eco-Action Team
The school has identified an Eco-Action Team comprised of a diverse group of teachers and students. (5 points) / The Eco-Action Team meets four times a year, and informal minutes are kept at each meeting. (5 points) / The Eco-Action Team informs the whole school of team actions and events. (5 points)

  • We are currently on step 2 (20 points): Conduct an Environmental Audit
During this last meeting, teacher: Heather McWhinney and Jean-Marie Letellier, along with the eco-délégués from 3rd to 5th grade were present and we thank them for their dedication. THANK YOU! Students presented the results of their environmental review and shared their opinions and ideas. We decided to increase the frequency of our meetings from every two weeks to every week.

The next steps for our Eco-school BRONZE award are:
  • Step 3: Create an Eco-Action Plan
  • Step 4: Monitor and Evaluate Progress
  • Step 5: Link to Existing Curriculum
  • Step 6: Involve the Community
Students are very excited to continue to take the lead on this matter and as adults, we are so excited to witness them making decisions, sharing their viewpoints, and inspired by their motivation. Our students are truly the changemakers of tomorrow! They are very engaged and conscious that we need to take action.

The EcoAction Team is composed of students, teachers, staff and parents. Our Facilities Manager Alfonso De La Torre is always open to answering students' questions and joined us during our first important meeting. A big thank you also to Gaelle Feliz who helps spread the word about what our Team is working on.

Finally, a special thank you to the wonderful parents on our EcoActionTeam: Julie Elie, Hervé Bruckert, Adriana Parcero, Michael Roberts, and Sarah Sawyer. This parents group will meet regularly, once per month, to see what we can also do as a community to support sustainability at EB. If you want to join the conversation please let us know at eresurreccion@eb.org—we are always happy to have new members.

All Are Welcome! (Anti-Discriminatory Policy)

Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley does not exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject any individual to discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. This policy applies to all programs, services, and facilities, including applications, admissions, and employment.