Montessori School of Covington wins Keep Georgia Beautiful
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.”
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.