On September 17th, the US Department of Education’s Green Strides Best Practices Tour rolled
through Kinard Middle School in Colorado. The schools was recognized for demonstrating
sustainable practices and environmental leadership..Kinard Middle School is a leader in environmental stewardship, health, and environmental education. Perhaps most importantly the school provides students with a learning experience that engage them in their communities.
One of the schools initiatives is called Kinard C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Action, Results, Environment, Service). This program is focused on inspiring change in the school and community through service-learning projects. The effort has resulted in some pretty impressive annual accomplishments. One of these is the composting of over 20,000 lbs. of food waste each year and diverting approximately 70 percent trash from the landfill annually.
Kinard’s environmental leadership curriculum offers an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on the complexities of systems in the real world. It encourages creativity, innovation, problem solving, and effective communication.
The school also has some exceptional clean energy features including geothermal, wind and daylighting. These features help to make Kinard the most energy efficient school in the state of Colorado.
In addition to reducing grid energy demand and saving the school in utility costs, these programs are also valuable teaching tools. Students are not just learning about something extrinsic, they are actively involved and show real ownership over these initiatives.
Make sure to see the article titled, “Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources.” It contains links to over 200 articles covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, student’s eco-initiatives, green school buildings, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources.