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University Hills Elementary
Rochester Hills, Michigan
University Hills is a K-5 public school located in southeastern Michigan. Our 400+ students supply our school with a rich blend of economic and cultural diversity. Our students come from households where 16+ different languages are spoken and our school is home to the district's ESL program. Because of this program, our school is a magnet for non-native speakers who add an enriching international element to our school environment. Our students are able to enhance their everyday learning experience with personal, international connections. Our school values the importance of balancing our appreciation of our local place on the planet with the responsibilities of being global citizens.
Our environmental goals include fostering a sense of wonder and love of the natural world for it is when a child learns to love nature that he will learn to be concerned about the well being of the environment. We intend to partner with a student organic farm organization from a nearby university to create several raised bed vegetable gardens to offer all of our students the opportunity to be engaged in growing food. We have a prolific apple tree on the school grounds from which apples will be harvested and pressed into cider annually. Maple trees will be tapped in the spring and the students will participate in making syrup. Gardens surrounding the school will be given a new purpose. In addition to providing beauty, they will be transformed into places that provide information about native plants and Michigan geography. Identification stations will allow the students to interact and learn about how the plants are connected to all living things in our school surroundings. There will be an emphasis on our place on the planet in southeastern Michigan and also a celebration of collaboration with master gardeners, college students and others in our extended community.