Green Apple Day of Service
August 29, 2014 at 5:59 PM
Eastern Section of AIA North Carolina’s Annual Green Apple Day of Service
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) recognized September 27th, as their national Green Apple Day of Service; a day that brings together teachers, students, parents and community leaders to help improve schools through projects of service and education. The Eastern Section of the America Institute of Architects (AIA) of North Carolina Chapter partnered with USGBC North Carolina in helping eighteen students from the Oakwood School in Greenville, NC built a cold frame and warm habitat.
As part of their science curriculum the instructors of Oakwood School decided that students would receive the most instructive education for the science program, if they learned how to cultivate new organic soil. In an effort to grow plants from the soil up, the plan was to build a cold frame. The cold frame structure has three bays for humus and one bay for worm cultures, allowing for the students to make their own soil.
The investment in the student's time and the resources made available by the Eastern Section of AIA North Carolina created a unique learning environment. Where else can children get class credit for handling worms or for making dirt from layers of leaves and recyclables that the wind blows around the school playground? These students will actually make dirt!
Some 200 board feet of lumber later, a knee height structure twelve feet long and three feet wide was erected by the student group from components made in Paul Gianino’s local cabinet shop, with funding for materials provided by the Eastern Section of AIA North Carolina Chapter.
USGBC Program in North Carolina
For the past 3 years, USGBC NC has been hosting and expanding the Environmental Stewardship Challenge for middle and high school students. They have expanded from a few schools in wake county to an impressive list of participants, mostly in Greensboro and Raleigh. Here is a map of the schools that participated last year:
USGBC NC is looking to expand even more this year and we would like to invite schools from all over eastern North Carolina to be included. You can learn more about the ESC at the USGBC NC Website using the following links: NC Green Schools and Green School ESC Program.
This year, for the Green Apple Day of Service happening on Saturday Sept. 27th, The Oakwood School in Greenville, NC is building two cold frames for nurturing plants and possibly for growing worms to assist in the science curriculum at the school. Humus from the grounds will be collected and used in the composting part of the project.
AIANC Eastern Section is proud to contribute to the day and provide the funds for the cost of the materials. If you would like to be involved with their construction on Saturday, September 27th please contact Hunt McKinnon at 252-916-3220 for details.
Besides the Green Apple Day of Service, the curriculum can continue and evolve; schools can enroll in the ESC Program and teach kids K-12 about the impact they can have on the environment and their local community. Each school needs a school staff member to serve as the green team sponsor and a “green team” that could be a class, a school club, or even a whole grade or school. Each green team is paired with a Mentor that helps collect resources for the team and serves as a go-between for USGBC. At the end of the year, cash prizes are awarded to schools in different categories for making their schools a more environmentally friendly learning environment. If you are interested in helping your local school form a green team for the ESC or serving as a Mentor, please contact Sarah Montgomery at [email protected]