Lower School Sustainability Efforts
Honored by SF Environment
In May, a group of faculty members and students were
invited to a lunch at San Francisco City Hall at which
French American International School, and three other
San Francisco schools, received an Environmental Excellence Award for our lower school sustainability efforts.
Erica Katz, Lower School Service Learning Coordinator, reflected on the award and the value of community
involvement: “As we discussed the meaning of this
award with other teachers, we realized the thing we are
most proud of this year is that so many people in our
school community got involved in this year's efforts. In
past years, there were many wonderful environmental projects, but they were isolated. This year we had
involvement at every grade level with students, teachers,
parents, administrators, and building maintenance staff
all working toward the same goal, and learning from
each other. We want to use this momentum to help us
move toward an even greener start to the next school
year and beyond.”
Fifth Grade Green Team TerraCycle Project
Erica Katz, Lower School Service Learning Coordinator
One of the first things we did last year to get our stu-
dents involved in the lower school's sustainability efforts
was create a Green Team. As much as possible, my goal
was to give the students the autonomy to choose which
environmental issues to address and how to do so.
One group of students chose to learn more about the
school's new solar panels so that they could share their
understanding with others. A second group focused
on our compost-recycling trash bins, writing compel-
ling facts on large posters above the bins to encourage
proper use of the system.
A third group of Green Team members chose to set up
a process to recycle granola bar and energy bar wrappers through TerraCycle. This group of students, led by
Marco Smith, Isaiah Casilang, August Kennedy, and
Jacob Inciarte-Valayre, presented their initiative to all
classes in 1st–5th grades.
They cared a lot about getting the entire lower school
involved, and they figured out a system to make it work.
It is a small part of the sustainability effort, but it's one
that unites everyone.
Marco, Isaiah, and the other Green Team leaders also
have plans for the future.
“We should get this started in the Middle School,”
said Marco. “Older students set an example for younger
grades, and getting middle school students involved will
lead to more projects to protect the environment.”
Read the Class of 2023 Green Team TerraCycle Project
reflection at www.frenchamericansf.org/terracycle
SF Environment Awards Ceremony. Left to right: Isabelle Cialone, Zoe Theulier, Audrey Amblard, Emily Chernock | Class of 2023.