Pe­tite preser­va­tion­ists

Montes­sori School of Cov­ing­ton wins Keep Ge­or­gia Beau­ti­ful

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Am­ber Pittman

A de­ci­sion by teach­ers and their stu­dents to prac­tice what they preached on Earth Day has paid off and the Cov­ing­ton Montes­sori School has re­ceived a statewide award from Keep Ge­or­gia Beau­ti­ful for their waste re­duc­tion pro­gram.

The school started their waste re­duc­tion pro­gram with 3-6-yearolds, but has since been adopted by the en­tire school.

Ac­cord­ing to the school’s di­rec­tor Jane Moon, the idea orig­i­nally started in 2002 when she was a class­room in­struc­tor. She and two other teach­ers felt strongly about not con­tra­dict­ing what they did on Earth Day and in­stead wanted to try to live all year long in a way that rep­re­sented their be­liefs.

It started with a non-dis­pos­able lunch pro­gram, where par­ents packed their chil­dren’s lunches in re­us­able con­tain­ers and the stu­dents would set the ta­bles for lunch with real dishes and cloth nap­kins and place­mats. What food they didn’t fin­ish went to their com­post bin. It all started with the early child­hood classes and the other stu­dents at the school be­gan fol­low­ing the ex­am­ples set by the youngest stu­dents.

From that pro­gram oth­ers fol­lowed. “It just seemed nat­u­ral to start re­cy­cling and com­post­ing,” Moon said. All the stu­dents re­cy­cle now and the early child­hood stu­dents are re­spon­si­ble for col­lect­ing the re­cy­cling that has ac­cu­mu­lated through­out the week and sort­ing it in their cen­tral re­cy­cling area on Fri­day.

The chil­dren also have an or­ganic gar­den they work in and they try to plant things they can ac­tu­ally use in the class­room.

“We have some­thing called food prep that even the youngest kids can do,” Moon ex­plained. “Some may wash car­rots, oth­ers may help slice cu­cum­bers. The kids love it. They love help­ing and they love work­ing in the gar­den.”

Ac­cord­ing to Moon, the school has a long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with Keep Cov­ing­ton/New­ton Beau­ti­ful and has worked with ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Con­nie Waller and pro­gram

ed­u­ca­tion spe­cial­ist Lau­rie Ri­ley on mul­ti­ple projects in the past. Waller nom­i­nated them for the statewide award this year.

Waller per­son­ally came to the school last week to tell them they had re­ceived the award for waste re­duc­tion this year and hand-de­liver an in­vi­ta­tion to the lun­cheon. “The teach­ers talk to their kids all the time and they read books about the en­vi­ron­ment and what we can all do to help,” Moon said. “We take it down to their level so they can un­der­stand it and how it re­lates to their life.

“In fact, many of the stu­dents have been so en­thu­si­as­tic about re­cy­cling they have told their par­ents about it and are now do­ing it at home as well. I am very proud of the stu­dents and teach­ers, and we ap­pre­ci­ate all the help we’ve re­ceived from Con­nie and Lau­rie at KCNB.”

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Green thumbs:

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Separat­ing re­cy­clables: Con­nor Adcox, a 3-year-old stu­dent from the Early Child­hood 1 class, places plas­tic bot­tles into the re­cy­cling bin lo­cated on the up­per floor of the Montes­sori School of Cov­ing­ton Thurs­day. In ad­di­tion to re­cy­cling plas­tic bot­tles, stu­dents also col­lect pa­per, glass, mag­a­zines, card­board and metal to be re­cy­cled.

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