School focuses on environment

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 20, 2002

A Selma City school can now claim to be the first, and not just within city boundaries but statewide.

Thursday, Meadowview Elementary announced its participation as the state’s first Project Learning Tree School. The project seeks to incorporate environmental studies into every classroom.

In describing the students’ response to the program, Principal Janis Stewart said, &uot;They love it!

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Teachers started learning how to teach their individual subjects last year. They participated in workshops and seminars during the summer months.

Chris Erwin, program coordinator and an associate of the Alabama Forestry Association, said that while only 75 percent of teachers have to be qualified, every teacher at Meadowview has been taught what it takes to get the job done.

The school is equipped with two on-site environmental centers, which resemble a newly-constructed, garden-like landscape.

Classroom activities stress participation and independent thinking. More than a dozen third grade students in math teacher DeAndres Inge’s class had the task of collecting data based on the types of foods they ate from Monday to Wednesday of this week.

Students had to make note of how many times they consumed a root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit and seed. The totals were added, and the identification of the types of food they ate from the environment completed.

Teachers are encouraged to fill in the gaps designed into the program with content that relates to their community, expertise, interests or the needs of their students. Activities can be used individually to teach specific concepts or used with other activities as part of a conceptual storyline.

Concept PTL was initiated in 1973 and is used in classrooms around the world.