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Wissahickon Charter School
"Wissahickon Charter School (WCS) is a K-8 public charter school that focuses on the environment as an integrating theme for instruction. Wissahickon Charter prepares students to develop their own approaches to environmental problems, understand the real-world applicability of their learning, and become engaged citizens of the world beyond the classroom walls. Wissahickon Charter School presently serves 457 K-8 students annually. Wissahickon Charter students come from 35 zip codes across the city of Philadelphia. An overwhelming majority of students are minorities (95%). A significant majority (81%) of current students are from low-wealth families. Wissahickon Charter School takes care to place great importance on developmental appropriateness in relationship to environmental issues and awareness. Younger students are exposed to and learn about the natural world around them. As students progress, they continue to learn about the world around them in an integrated curriculum that slowly introduces them to cause and effect - how humans impact our environment."
"Wissahickon seeks a grant to enhance and sustain the school's composting and recycling program. This project allow students and teachers to have more visual reminders about how we can care for the earth and their community. This is important because the composting and recycling programs have significantly cut down on waste in the school community. Wissahickon Charter School seeks to enrich its Sustainable Environmental Curriculum (SEC) by generating sustaining and enhancing its composting and recycling program. First grade students at Wissahickon Charter School study waste. They notice how much trash is in the neighborhoods where they live and where they go to school. In order to understand trash more in depth, one class even decided to spread out the contents of one trashcan from the school’s cafeteria. They realized that much of the “trash” from the cafeteria could be composted. The students set in motion an action project that empowered them to help the whole school make less trash. They set-up several vermi-compost bins, or worm bins, and educated everyone in the school about how to separate out food scraps. Through their action project, the Wissahickon Charter School was changed and has now taken on a school-wide composting initiative with support from Bennett Compost. All of the food scraps in the cafeteria and snacks from classrooms are composted. One huge challenge is that WCS receives less than 70% of the per-pupil allocation that the School District of Philadelphia receives. Ongoing budget cuts have stretched our urban school in profound ways. Funding from Recyclebank would allow WCS to sustain this important initiative. Wissahickon seeks a grant from Recyclebank to pay for this service and continue to replace well-worn recycling bins with recycling centers in school hallways. Students will teach their peers and the adults in the building about ways to increase environmental sustainability."