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Erdenheim Elementary School
"Springfield Township is located in suburban Philadelphia, Montgomery County. It covers 6.8 square miles. There are four communities in Springfield Township: Oreland, Flourtown, Wyndmoor, and Erdenheim. The population is approximately 19,500. The community is mainly residential with a low percentage of small businesses. Springfield Township joined the RecycleBank program in May of 2010. The school district educates approximately 2,200 students in grades K-12. The district is organized into four community buildings, Enfield Elementary (Grades K-1), Erdenheim Elementary (Grades 2 - 5), Springfield Township Middle School, and the Springfield Township High School. In 2011, the district completed two major building projects, a new Erdenheim and a major renovation for Springfield Township Middle School. Both school projects were built to adhere to green building standards. The new green Erdenheim Elementary School has 722 students (193 in 2nd, 168 in 3rd, 174 in 4th, 187 in 5th) from ages 7 to 12. The community is largely middle class but has representation from all socio-economic levels. Approximately 15.4% of students are from low-income families. The ethnicity of the student population is mostly White. The next largest ethnic group is Black, representing almost 10% of the population, followed by approximately 5% of students being Hispanic and 3% Asian."
"The Erdenheim Green Project: “Making a Difference”, will incorporate a school wide art project and installation as well as environmental education. The art project’s design and direction will come from Esther Cohen-Eskin, artist in residence, with a curricular lesson from Matthew Meyer, Guidance teacher at Erdenheim Elementary. As an artist in residence, Ms. Cohen-Eskin has been working with students for years using broken tile and bottle caps to create benches, murals, and birdhouses. For this project, she will help the students create a found object mosaic bench & birdhouses. She will use materials that might otherwise have been thrown away such as broken tiles or pottery and bottle caps. She will use solar lighting on the bench. The bench’s dimensions will be between 12’ x 5’ x 30” to 8’ x 5’ x 28”. Ms. Cohen-Eskin will incorporate a short lesson on reducing, reusing, and recycling as well as on solar lighting. The theme of “Making a Difference” is going to be part of the messaging of the bench and will remain after the lesson is completed. The bench will serve as a station for wellness and a place of tranquility within the school space. The hope is that this space could be used as an outdoor classroom in the future. The birdhouses will remind students to be mindful of all creatures that live around us. Matthew Meyer will encourage students in his Guidance classes to examine the art activity within the context of what we use, reuse, and throw away. He will seek to promote the idea of stewardship in order to “make a difference for our school, our community, and our planet.” This new green project will serve to compliment our existing green activities at Erdenheim including the school-wide recycling, the creation of a student and teacher Green Team, and the EEHSP Green Committee’s work. The intended outcome is that the students will: consider found objects when creating art; learn the importance of the 3 R’s: reducing, reusing, and recycling; establish life-long habits; while gaining an appreciation for the importance of caring for the environment in a responsible manner, and taking pride in creating a space where current and future students can enjoy another two R’s - relaxing during recess."