Geneva Day School believes that learning about and taking care of our environment is important at every age. We incorporate environmental education into our curriculum in all classes throughout the year. In addition to spending time outside every day, we teach and practice daily activities that help our environment which include: turning off lights when not needed, recycling, creatively repurposing items for art projects, double-sided photocopying and collection of water in rain barrels, just to name a few.
We are fortunate to have a monarch butterfly way station in our children’s garden. Classes harvest milkweed and caterpillars, make habitats for the caterpillars, and learn about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Once butterflies hatch from their chrysalides, students participate in nurturing them to adults, tagging them and releasing them. Geneva students find it fascinating to study a variety of other insects such as hornworms, painted lady butterflies, and ants as well.
Classes take nature and creek walks seasonally to observe and explore what is found in nature and how these discoveries vary throughout the year. Looking at the weather each day, discussing what is happening outside, and how it is changing is another daily topic discussed in classes.
School-wide celebrations revolving around the environment include Harvest Days in the fall, Earth Day in April and Field Days in the spring. Classes spend most of their day outside on these occasions, participating in activities such as bulb planting, leaf rubbings, tending the monarch butterfly way station, weeding, apple tastings, races, making bird feeders, reading in the children’s garden, and more.
Geneva Day School is proud of its focused efforts on the environment over the past eight years, which have resulted in Geneva being certified as a Maryland Green School in 2010 and its re-certification in 2014.