On December 6, 2018, a team of seven Suffolk University students and their professor worked with two second grade classes and their teachers at St. John School in the North End.

This visit was part of a service learning project supported by the Campuses for Environmental Stewardship (CES) program and Suffolk University’s Center for Urban Ecology & Sustainability (CUES). During the fall semester, the Suffolk students produced activities, coloring books, a reading book, and a wooden puzzle all centered on the ideas of a healthy and happy environment. The college students brought four of these activities to the one-hour session at St. John School.

The groups of college and elementary students worked together on activities like the Green City coloring book to learn about urban heat island effects and urban gardens, the reading book Eva’s Trip to Boston to learn about a water droplet’s trip around the water cycle, the coloring book The Life of a Little Apple to trace the travels of an apple from the farm to the table, and a laser-cut wooden puzzle to learn about urban trees!

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The Suffolk students had a wonderful time working with the St. John School students. Here’s what some of them thad to say about the experience:

“Being able to teach the 2nd grade students at St. John School about trees that grow in the Boston area was a wonderful experience. I strongly feel that kids should be taught about their environment from a young age, and it was extremely rewarding to see the kids so engaged and interested in our projects.”

“Besides the energy they showed, one of the surprising aspects of this visit was how they show curiosity for the environment from the types of trees to the urban animals; they always had something to say, and many expressed their knowledge without hesitation.”

“Reflecting on this experience, I think that we should put more emphasis on environmental issues in the classroom starting at a younger age solely because of the gravity of the situation at hand.”

“I am very proud of the school for having the hydroponics setup because it’s teaching the kids about sustainability at a very young age. This is the first step to a better tomorrow, and the day after.”

Suffolk CUES looks forward to more opportunities to work with St. John School and their wonderful students!

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