One of AGC’s six foundational pillars is environmental sustainability. This means that everything we do from curriculum to building operations is infused with sustainable practices. While this is an everyday approach at our campuses, we take the month of April as an opportunity to further reflect on our impact on the Earth and round out the month with Earth Week, planned by our student-led Green Team and Sustainability Coordinator, Ms. Gonzalez.
This year, with the challenges of COVID and hybrid learning, we planned a week with both virtual and in-person events to ensure the safety of our community. The events were available for AGC families and the wider community and encompassed everything from learning about urban agriculture in Chicago to how to make sustainable skincare products and partnering with organizations to repurpose gently used art and school supplies for national and international NGOs.
Earth Week – Day One: Event with Upcycling Colors
AGC families came together on the first day of Earth Week to volunteer with the organization Upcycling Colors whose mission is to rescue leftover art, craft and school supplies to transform them into like-new treasures and bring them to underserved communities around the world. Families joined a virtual meeting to organize their personal leftover art, craft and school supplies with the Upcycling Colors Founder, Mariela Bertorelli.
Earth Week – Day Two: Urban Growers Collective & the Fresh Moves Bus
Through our ongoing partnership with Urban Growers Collective and their Fresh Moves Bus, on Tuesday of Earth Week, we collaborated to celebrate the planet! Urban Growers Collective spoke with our 4th grade students about their city farms in Chicago that provide organic produce for local communities.
The Fresh Moves Bus also came to AGC, as it always does on Tuesday afternoons. We had a big turnout from the community and AGC families and Urban Growers Collective shared more about their farming work in Chicago to increase healthy food access.
Earth Week Day Three: Cooking & Earth Day School Spirit
On Wednesday of Earth Week, the AGC Green Team challenged students, families and staff to wear green and blue in honor of Earth Day. Students also participated in a special Earth Week cooking session with Mr. Soto where they made “Nature’s Cereal” that consists of fruit, berries and coconut water.
Earth Week – Day Four: DIY Facial Scrub
On Thursday, AGC students and families signed up to participate in a virtual session to create their own DIY facial scrub with honey, raw sugar and lemon which were provided to participants. Skin and body care items often are heavy with chemicals and use a lot of plastic, so our DIY facial scrub tutorial walked families and students through a simple recipe to create clean and glowing skin, while protecting the planet.
Earth Week – Day Five: Kiss the Ground Documentary Screening & Discussion
The Kiss the Ground documentary covers why soil health is important for us and our planet. By screening this documentary, we encouraged students and families to question the importance of soil in our lives as we learned what regenerative agriculture is and how this system of farming principles impacts the Earth.