M I N U T E
TO FRIENDS SCHOOL BOARDS and HEADS of SCHOOL
On May 2-3, 2013, the Friends Environmental Education Network (FEEN), gathered for its annual meeting at Westtown School. Twenty-nine teachers from twelve Friends schools attended. As a Friends Council on Education Peer network, FEEN has worked for the past 12 years to promote innovative environmental education and sustainable practices at our schools. We represent schools that serve students of all ages from pre-school through 12th grade, in city settings as well as suburban and rural.
It is our shared conviction that all Quaker Schools need to advocate strongly for sustainability to ensure the health and safety not only of our own staff and students, but also of the diverse eco-systems that support the global community.
While there are many ways that each of our Friends Schools interprets and supports the Quaker testimony of Stewardship, we would like to propose that all Friends Schools make an effort to take the following action steps, which would put Quaker Schools on track to lead this crucial social transition.
- Draft and adopt a Sustainability Mission Statement.
- Join the Green Schools Alliance and make a commitment to carbon emissions reductions over time, either as “Climate Stewards” or “Climate Champions.” Currently eleven Friends School are members. http://www.greenschoolsalliance.org/view-the-commitment.
- Integrate themes surrounding Sustainable Food Systems into the curriculum, either through a gardening program, local/organic purchasing program in the dining room, connection with a community garden and/or other programs and activities suitable to your school.
- Embed Quaker testimonies of simplicity and stewardship into the curriculum wherever possible. The Cloud Institute has created excellent Education for Sustainability standards, which can be a helpful guide -- http://cloudinstitute.org/cloud-efs-standards/
Friends Schools have historically been at the forefront of progressive educational change, including co-education, desegregation, service learning, conflict resolution, and teaching the whole child. By becoming educational institutions that are also committed to stewarding our natural world through our campus operations and by educating for sustainability in our classrooms, we will graduate students who are ready to meet the world’s ecological challenges.
Thank you for your attention and consideration,
FEEN Conference attendees, 2013
Judy Asselin, Westtown School
John Baird, Westtown School
Kevin Berkoff, William Penn Charter School
Elson Blunt, Westtown School
Michael Bonsignore, Carolina Friends School
Barbara Caccamo, Westbury Friends School
Grace Sharples Cooke, Trustee, Friends School Haverford and William Penn Charter School
Trish Cope, Sandy Spring Friends School
Mark Croxford, William Penn Charter School
Joel Eckel, William Penn Charter School
Toni Evans, Sandy Spring School
Christine Farley, Wilmington Friends School
Ann Fieldhouse, Sidwell Friends School
Laurel Flyer, Sandy Spring School
Linda Garrettson, Westtown School
Jennifer Gilbert-Jenkins, Westtown School
Sue Geoghegan, Wilmington Friends School
Jonathan Howe, William Penn Charter School
Josie Johnson, Sandy Spring Friends School
Sharon Livingston, Friends School Haverford
Irene McHenry, Friends Council on Education
John McKinstry, Westtown School (Lansdowne Friends School fall 2013)
Lydia Parrish, Westbury Friends School
Victoria Pearson, Westtown School
Margaret Pennock, Sidwell Friends School
Doug Ross, Friends’ Central School
Richard Schultz, Stratford Friends School
Geoffrey Selling, Germantown Friends School
Wade Tomlinson, Friends School Haverford