"Baldwin Academy's Gentle Earth Curriculum"
A Green School Initiative
Baldwin Academy has served the Pacific Beach community for over three decades, and in order to continue serving our families, it is essential that we maintain the high academic standards that have been established in the past and continue to guide our students to be life-long learners. It is equally important that we understand the present and future needs of our students, as well as the needs of the community they live in, so that we can prepare the children to be successful citizens throughout their lives. The aim of this academy is to instill a love of the world and its natural treasures so that we can all be better stewards of this precious resource.
The Gentle Earth Curriculum will introduce the children to different elements of the Earth through an exploratory and experiential spiraled program. These “Green Studies” will be taught alongside the academics, often integrating both when appropriate. The program begins with one element, water. Our one year olds will focus on this element throughout their time as Parakeets. Our Canaries, or two year olds, will continue learning about water, but they will focus on land and begin to understand how water and land are connected. The Robins, three year olds, will learn about air, and of course, will explore different cycles to understand how water, land, and air work together to provide important resources for the world. Our Big Nesters will learn about reducing, reusing, and recycling, while our Junior Kindergarten will focus on the importance of being responsible consumers.
Baldwin Academy will continue to promote a learning environment that stresses academics, as well as the arts and music. It will now also include the Gentle Earth Curriculum with the goal of developing in our students a sense of love and responsibility for the Earth, helping them to grow into responsible citizens and guardians of our world for all those that live and depend on it.
Dr. Jonie Kipling, our Green Studies expert who worked with us to create and implement our Gentle Earth Curriculum. Miss Jonie was a teacher in New York for twenty seven years working with a variety of levels throughout her career. Over the years, she has worked with preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school classes, and she taught methods courses at Hofstra University. Along with coordinating our environmental program, Miss Jonie also helped us implement our school garden. The goal of our garden is to get children actively involved in growing food that they will eat in the classroom. Promoting a love for the environment and enjoying nutritional food are two things that Miss Jonie feels passionately about. Although other family responsibilities have obliged her to be absent from our campus we will continue to be grateful for all her wonderful contributions.
Letter from Parent;
Two weekends ago my daughter said she wanted me to make her some chard to eat. I actually couldn't understand what she was asking for until I finally asked her if indeed she was asking for chard. She excitedly said yes, and said she only likes it cooked, not straight from the garden and then told me I need to learn to cook it the way Baldwin does. I don't think there are too many three and a half year old asking to eat chard for snacks. So, thank you. I must say the garden and nutrition initiative you have taken are really great. Keep up the good work!