Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade twelve. The goal is to teach critical thinking, problem-solving techniques and leadership to help solve future environmental problems.
All of our classes throughout the entire school utilize the Project Learning Tree curriculum. These exciting environmental lesson are experienced by student from age 15 months through 8th grade. SPLS has been a Project Learning Tree school since 2005.
St. Paul Lutheran School is the first in Florida to become a Project Learning Tree Green School. The students lead in caring for the environment by recycling, conserving water and conserving electricity. The students take measurements of how much energy and water we are using and how much we are recycling to reduce our carbon footprint. The students utilize the Terracycle program to recycle product packaging and earn money for the school. The money is put back into the environment through the purchase of plants and gardening materials.
The five areas of study for Project Learning Tree are water conservation, energy conservation, school yard habitats, air quality and recycling.
Ms. Deb Wagner, an SPLS fourth grade teacher, is a nationally recognized Project Learning Tree teacher and leads workshops and training sessions for other teachers across the nation. She facilitates the Project Learning Tree curriculum both in her classroom and on campus. The students are the true leaders in this curriculum through peer education. The older students work with the younger grades in leading lessons on the environment.
In the spring of 2013, St. Paul Lutheran School was recognized by the United States Department of Education as a Green Ribbon School. This designation means our school has pursued environmental education, recycling and conservation efforts, physical activity, and good nutrition in our school to a degree that recognition is warranted.
We are so proud of our teachers and students who relish the opportunity to be part of a green campus.
Each year St. Paul Lutheran School celebrates God’s creation through Creation Week. At this time visitors come to the campus to educate students about the local environment. We have partnered with the Master Gardeners, SWIFTMUD, and Lakeland Electric, local farmers and beekeepers to name a few. This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about their local environment and how they can best improve upon their community.
We have a pollinating garden which is designed to pollinate our vegetables and flowers. This garden helps to illustrate how the pollination process works and support the local school gardens.
Ag(riculture) in the Classroom
Agriculture in the classroom includes the following:
- St. Paul Lutheran School has above ground hydroponics, raised beds and various vegetable and flower gardens for all students to participate in cultivating.
- The butterfly gardens help maintain and support approximately twelve different species of butterfly.
- The vegetable gardens are for nutrition studies, learning about plants and contributing to the world’s food source.
- Classroom gardens include literature gardens which bring books to life. For example, Blueberries for Sal is a blueberry garden. Pizza Party is a garden featuring herbs and tomatoes and vegetables that are used in pizza making.