The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Maryland Green School program was recently named St. Charles High School as a 2022 Maryland Green School is one of the 16 Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) participating in the program. All CCPS Green Schools are supported by Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center, a Maryland Green Center.
According to MAEOE, the program provides prekindergarten to 12th-grade students with educational opportunities that empower them to make changes to reduce environmental impacts, practice environmental stewardship, encourage sustainability, and increase awareness of how their relationship with the environment ultimately impacts the public health and society and fosters environmental literacy.
Last year a few students at St. Charles saw an environmental gap in the school, brought it to the attention of now Green Team advisor at St. Charles, science teacher Maddalena Nesbit, and decided to start the process to become Green School certified. “It became our goal to make the school more environmentally friendly,” Nesbit said. In becoming Green School certified, St. Charles is “committed to developing stewards of the earth and reducing the school’s environmental impact,” Nesbit said.
The school submitted an application that covered certain environmental objectives and demonstrated duties in each of those objectives to become certified. Some objectives included curriculum and instruction, schoolwide behavior changes, student-based sustainability practices, and community partnerships. Nesbit, Shelby Farrell, a science teacher and co-advisor on the Green Team at St. Charles, and 10 student members made up the Green Team. The team demonstrated the environmental objectives through a series of projects. Some projects included planting a monarch butterfly garden in partnership with the La Plata Rotary Club and the Monarch Sister Schools program in Baltimore, and rebooting the recycling club, bringing awareness to staff and students on what to recycle.
Student members of the Green Team at St. Charles are:
- Carmen Rich, sophomore;
- Nyala Ross, senior;
- Norlynn Broadnax, sophomore;
- Serenity Shuff, freshman;
- London Ross, freshman;
- Asia White, freshman;
- Nia Gatling, sophomore;
- Alex Barry, freshman;
- DeRiah Denny, freshman; and
- Richardo Garret, freshman.
Green Schools will be recognized virtually on May 18 and in person on May 26 at the Maryland Green Schools Youth Summit at Sandy State Point Park.