Chesterfield teacher uses grant money to turn school ‘green’

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield Country teacher is using a $3,000 grant to start a composting program at her middle school.

Nicole Rowland is a 6th-grade science teacher at Providence Middle School and she took her Earth Day lesson plan and turned it into a go green movement the school could get behind.

“At first the kids were like ‘eww that’s really gross’ but then they were like ‘what are you doing with that and I want to see what’s in that bin,’” Rowland said.

Last April during Earth Day, her students designed the composting program that they are implementing this year.

“We have students walk around collecting the fruits and vegetables at the end of lunch,” Rowland said. “I have students who weigh how much food we are recycling and then we keep track. We have a data form.”

She purchased 10 composting bins through the grant money she received through the Chesterfield Education Foundation’s MCD Awards for Innovative Teaching.

“Our mission as a foundation is basically to fund programs for the school system that could enhance education for students that the school system simply can’t budget for,” said Jean Cauble with the Chesterfield Education Foundation.

Cauble said a total of 7 teachers received grant money through the MCD Awards this year.

“It’s amazing what some of the teachers will come up with,” Cauble said. “It’s one of my favorite things we do as a foundation.”

Rowland said she also got a call from a local business who would like to donate five more bins.

She said she has already partnered with other subjects like math and cultural studies to get the entire school involved.

“Just so many different ways that we can incorporate all the subjects into composting and gardening and just being good stewards of our earth,” Rowland said.

Rowland hopes students take the lessons they learned here and start composting back at home.

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