Last Tuesday, my colleague Beth, and I visited Greencastle Elementary in Silver Spring.  Greencastle was the largest Elementary School we had ever seen.  We had a meeting with an old friend, Natalie, who is a teacher there now and in addition to teaching students with special needs, she also runs the SERT program.  SERT stands for School Energy and Recycling Team. They pick around 15 students who become the schools recycling team.  They turn off the lights at school, make sure the computers are shutdown for the weekend, help implement recycling plans in the cafeteria, turn off water, and more!

One of the coolest parts about this program is that everything is measured, so at the end of the year, they see how much electricity was saved at the school and how many pounds of paper recycled.  Also, they have an entire page dedicated to the program through the MCPS website. They have games, resources, and ideas for teachers to implement and much more. They even have competitions amongst the schools in Montgomery County. Last year a student at Greencastle won! SERT is in all the schools in Montgomery County and is making quite an impact in both resource conservation and educating kids about environmental issues.

SERT & eKWIP

Natalie wanted to go beyond turning off lights and monitoring recycling in the cafeteria.  The SERT group at Greencastle is going to partner with eKWIP to complete our Water 101 lessons in Water Conservation. Many of their students do not have the resources to gain experience or knowledge beyond their immediate community. By participating in eKWIP, the students will learn about local environmental issues, while exposing them to a much larger community and connecting to people and organizations outside of their normal day to day interactions. e-collaborate staff will help facilitate this experience and connect Greencastle Elementary beyond their building! We discussed many new ways to engage their community and ours. Please stay tuned as the project gets underway…

Also, if you would like to get more information about connecting special groups, after school programs, or even classrooms, please contact us and we will work with you to customize eKWIP to your needs. For more information on SERT, please click here

Naina Boveja
Executive Director

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