Wheeling Country Day School’s mission guides students to “Think, Create, and Communicate” readily in their everyday worlds. Our students are encouraged to ask questions, brainstorm collaboratively, and ultimately take action, in order to improve our campus and surrounding community. The mission drives WCDS to push past solving even the most worthy hypothetical problems and challenges students to be aware enough of their surroundings to discover the problem for themselves. This significantly increases context within our curriculum, allows for a variety of perspectives surrounding an issue, and creates an atmosphere of empathy among our student body.
On Earth Day, 2015, the fourth grade went searching for the best way to improve the environmental impact of our campus. After researching and narrowing down the realistic options, the class decided on a recycling program. The program started with student to student education. The fourth grade students traveled to each classroom to explain the importance, and relative ease, of recycling. Before the school could truly launch their initiative, however, the fourth grade students had to find a community partner to assist in both pickup and sorting of the collection. The class quickly decided that Kimble Recycling was that partner, and utilizing such a company would help to maximize the effect of the program. After establishing a relationship with Kimble, each classroom was given a personally designed recycling bin to collect recyclable materials throughout the week.
Small groups of fourth graders were assigned to monitor and clear classrooms, as well as act as recycling liaisons by providing updates, answering questions, and addressing the individual needs of each grade. Once a week the small groups would gather whatever had been collected and record the weight of each bin. A chart was developed to keep track of the recycling in each room and provide the students with valuable data to adjust and improve the program. In just the second year of the program, the school was able to ensure that over 1,200 pounds of materials were able to be reused, rather than rotting in a dump! The current fourth grade has upped the ante even more, and the 2017 group is on pace to more than double the previous record. One metric ton!
Your support for these practical projects ensures our ability to solve relevant, real world problems. Your support provides students the chance to gain leadership experience, as well as the opportunity to leave our community better than they found it.