Faith Blooms Here
Together with our school Chaplain, our Environment Specialist High Skills Major students (Grade 11 & 12), and Grade 10 students from a second period Religion class, we worked to complete this Action Project to raise environmental awareness in our school. During Catholic Education Week and beyond, we built community through environmental consciousness and created an appreciation for nature. We launched off of the theme for Catholic Education Week, which was “Renew, Restore, Rebuild”.
We provided second period classes with materials to have their own class plant or gave them a ready potted plant if they preferred that option. We provided an info sheet with the health benefits of having an indoor plant (e.g., supports good health and mental well-being; improves air quality, much needed during this time of the pandemic, etc.). We hoped that the experience of planting the plant together would build class community, care for the plant, and environmental consciousness. We encouraged each class to name the plant and take turns caring for it (like using their left over water to water it instead of spilling that water out). We hoped that caring for the plant would transfer to caring for the environment and becoming a responsible citizen on a regular basis, which is a Catholic Graduate Expectation.
We consulted with a plant expert at Mississauga Greenhouses to learn about the best types of plants to purify the air and which are to be planted indoors with sunlight and without sunlight. Then we researched what was available and carefully selected plants and materials. We took a school survey to see which class wanted materials to plant together or preferred a ready made plant. We also checked if they had natural light or not as that would determine the types of plants they received. We took time and care to create a planting kit and info sheet for each class and then delivered to each class. We also mentioned some information about our school’s Environment Specialist High Skills Major program, which may inspire students to look into it and join.
We further built community by reaching out to a feeder school and sharing the planting kits and info sheets with them. This created environmental consciousness and created an appreciation for nature. Further, it built a comfort level for the elementary students who will one day in the near future attend our school and be part of our school community. Having that hands on planting experience with the older students built community and created environmental consciousness. It was also a very fun experience for all involved!
Watching the various workshops gave us many ideas that we thought about and brainstormed about. We felt the planting kits inspired many to connect with nature and hopefully take that awareness with them in their daily lives.
Reflection & Celebration
The teachers who nurtured this project, Flo Pianta (Chaplain) and Sonia Janik-Corvinelli (Specialist High Skills Major Lead & Teacher) are very proud of the ideas, action, and effort put forth by our students. Congratulations on a wonderful project with intentional steps to make a difference!