Environmental Education and Conservation
Conservation efforts at The Einstein Academy have progressively increased among the faculty, staff, students and families since the inception of the school. We began with teachers educating students on the importance of conservation in our daily lives and the significance of being stewards of the environment. The program extended to students, staff and parent volunteers planting trees along the drive entering the school, grounds and playground, as well as planting bushes and flora around the building to encourage birds and wildlife to abide here. In Life Skills class (home economics) students built bird houses and feeders to hang from our trees.
Conservation does not stop at 747 Davis Road in Elgin, Illinois; it has extended to our community and the globe. Some of the efforts we have been involved in are as follows:
The Einstein Academy presently works with The Department of Natural Resources and Friends of the Fox as monitors of The Tyler Creek Watershed. Our students and staff collect and record biological, physical and chemical data on the creek in order to monitor the tributary feeding into the Fox River.
Our entire school is involved in the project from Pre-K through High School. We work in homogenous groups each assisting one another. The data is later collated and averaged by our middle and high school students and forwarded to Friends of the Fox for formal records.
Our 1st-3rd grade classrooms successfully held a bake sale to raise money to purchase an acre of the rainforest, spreading our conservation efforts globally.
Plant and Animal Habitat Support
Every day is Earth Day at our school. Students are aware of nature and learn about habitats, bios, growth cycles, predators and prey of our Earth. They are taught to appreciate and care for the world we live in. Each year, the students collect trash along Tyler Creek Forest Preserve boundaries and Davis Road. Items that can be recycled or reused are collected for that purpose, and those that can’t are discarded.
Due to their efforts, they are learning to be better citizens and conservationists. Many students and teachers now use reusable lunch containers and sports bottles as a means of reducing. In 2008, students worked with “NatureScape” to create a fountain and pond at the entrance to our school. The water source was stocked with aqua plants and fish, and it now welcomes ducks, frogs and insects to our location. Pre-Kindergarten and 2nd grade students observe metamorphosis as they hatch butterflies and release them annually. Our 3rd grade class studies plants and animals throughout the year, appreciating their diversity and fragile ecosystems.
Recycling and the Community
The school, staff, families and community participate in The Paper Retriever program, collecting several tons of paper for recycling purposes. We collect plastic products, bottles and aluminim used within the school for recycling. Ink cartridges are collected from families and school to be recycled, while cell phones are collected for distribution to senior citizens in our local community. In addition, we collect juice pouches in our classrooms and cafeteria for the Terracycle Program. The pouches are then turned into school supplies by the company. Our students are encouraged to purchase the products back as school supplies the following year to continue the reduce-reuse-recycle program. Also, children donate their gently used coats, hats, and gloves to a local crisis center. We continue to look for ways to encourage recycling and preventing waste.
The Einstein Academy would like to continue to increase our efforts toward conservation. Some of the projects we plan to undertake are:
- purchasing recycled paper products,
- beginning a vermicomposting unit that could eventually extend to our cafeteria by decomposing food scraps, and
- building an atrium, which would allow students to experience nature while indoors.
If you have any other ideas for projects we could start or efforts we could participate in, please fill out the Contact Form.