Iberville Charter Academy celebrates Earth Day

Staff Report @ThePostSouth

The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Club at Iberville Charter Academy may have been busy preparing for statewide LEAP assessments, but they also took time to think about the environment.

In the weeks leading up to Earth Day, students celebrated with a month of festivities and lessons from planting gardens to creating artwork to persuade classmates and families how to live more ecologically. 

Project Strong Roots is a study of earth and its resources as part of Earth Day celebrations at Iberville Charter Academy. STEM club students prepared gardens in the school courtyard for planting and will donate vegetables from the garden to the local food bank and summer nutrition program.   

D'Lacie Monk, principal of Iberville Charter Academy, worked with students to help plant trees.

“Project Strong Roots has provided a quality opportunity to teach our students how to make a difference by meeting a need in our community.” said Monk. 

The culminating event was held on Earth Day, April 22, 2016. The students held a community tree-planting event ceremony.  Students planted 20 trees in the school’s courtyard, and also researched and learned important lessons about the benefits of trees.

The trees and all resources used for the ceremony were donated by The Giving Tree Foundation’s Seeds of Hope scholarship, The Giving Tree Foundation was founded by Charter Schools USA’s (CSUSA) founder and president, Jonathan Hage and Chief Academic Officer Sherry Hage. 

Plaquemine Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Hank Grace, City of White Castle Mayor, Gerald Williams, Charter Schools USA Regional Director, Dr. Raquel Square-Ayles, employees from Dow and ExxonMobil Chemical along with the parents and teachers joined the students and staff for this exciting event. 

Prior to this activity, students understood the concept of Earth Day, but never really grasped the impact poor environmental practices have on the planet.

“It was great seeing our students think of others and our environment.  I believe this project was the ultimate learning experience because after designing and carrying out research, students applied their learning to positively affect their community,” said Earlisha Whitfield, assistant principal.

According to Bobby Georgetown, STEM coordinator for the campus, the event was designed to incorporate the importance of Earth Day with 21st Century learning standards.

“This offers students an opportunity to get a hands-on experience and teach them to save the earth for themselves as they grow up and to be responsible for the earth that they live on,” Georgetown said. 

Iberville Charter Academy is part of the Charter Schools USA Inc. (CSUSA) family of schools. The school is governed by the South Louisiana Charter Foundation which includes local board members John Pierre, Esq, Edmund, Achilles Williams, Alvin Washington, Mary, Lyn Singletary and Melissa Sybrandt. CSUSA, the first education management company to receive corporation system-wide accreditation through AdvancED, is one of the nation’s leading charter school management companies. CSUSA currently manages 77 schools in seven states serving nearly 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. In the 2016-2017 school year, the number will expand to 84 schools with more than 75,000 students.  It manages nine schools in Louisiana. CSUSA innovative educational advantages include advanced technology, meaningful parental involvement, student uniforms, consistent and fairly enforced discipline policies, highly qualified and motivated staff, community focus, integrated character education and high academic growth and performance. 

Enrollment for Iberville Charter Academy is underway. Those interested may apply online at IbervilleCharter.org.  Attached are photos from the Earth Day event.