Mary G. Hogsett Primary School has been voted the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education's 2022 Outstanding PreK-12 School for Excellence in Environmental Education. The school will be honored with an award at a conference in December.
"We are humbled and honored with this recognition," said Hogsett Principal Suzanne Farmer.
Much of Hogsett's environmental education activities have been offered through a partnership with Bluegrass Greensource, a non-profit organization that provides environmental education, resources and outreach throughout Central Kentucky.
"Not only do all of our students have ongoing, meaningful learning about the environment, but Bluegrass Greensource has written grants to improve our access to environmental resources such as tree saplings and birdhouses," Farmer said.
Farmer explained that environmental education is enriching to young children, as it fosters their natural curiosity about the world around them.
"We have a whole-child approach to education at Hogsett Primary," she said. "Our students are aged 3-8 years old, and we are fortunate to be able to nurture and build on the natural curiosity that young children have about the outdoors. We make connections between subjects like reading, writing and science through deep studies about topics such as birds. Our students become experts in these topics through inquiry, using our school grounds and other community resources."
She said it's exciting to watch students learn and grow from these activities. For example, beginning at the start of the year, there has been a heavy emphasis on learning about water and its importance to people and animals to prepare for the Junior Watershed Festival.
"Students have walked the property to find water sources for local wildlife and created field notebooks to document their observations," Farmer said. "They will also be learning about creek habitats. Students are also learning about weather, and in particular the importance of sun and rain."
She said kindergarten and first grade are still learning heavily about birds and trees, as they were last year.
"They are already learning how to improve our community and how to be better stewards to the Earth," she said.
"Our students, families and staff at Hogsett have a 'better together' mindset that fosters rich collaboration," Farmer said. "We are fortunate to have several community partnerships including working with Bluegrass Greensource, the Art Center of the Bluegrass, and McConnell Springs to enrich student learning."
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- Danville Independent Schools
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- environmental education award