By Special to the Intermountain Catholic
SANDY — Blessed Sacrament School has been recognized as a Platinum Level “Green School” by the Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE).
The Utah Green Schools initiative recognizes sustainable practices demonstrated by schools through curriculum and facility management. It builds on the national Green Schools project, whose mission is enhancing student health and learning while conserving natural resources and empowering students to develop sustainable behaviors.
Blessed Sacrament School’s environmental curriculum is based on Catholic teaching and understanding of the duty to care for all of God’s creation. As Pope Francis stated in “Laudato Si,’” everyone shares “our common home.”
When the school formed its Green Team last November, its leaders began compiling a detailed portfolio illustrating environmentally aware practices happening on campus. The portfolio consisted of eight action projects meeting all four required categories: sustainable facilities, sustainable practices, community involvement, and environmental education.
The School-Wide Recycling program recycled 8.1 tons of paper products, while the Energy Efficient School project maximized energy use by pre-programming facility thermostats.
With Arts and Environment projects, teachers and parent volunteers incorporated the school’s community garden into tech lessons, heightening students’ awareness about the ways in which consumption impacts our world both physically and spiritually. Students also studied and replicated Brazilian Favela towns using found and recycled objects.
As a result, in May, Blessed Sacrament became one of 12 Utah schools to be recognized as a Green School.
In addition, this year Blessed Sacrament School received its eighth National School of Character Promising Practices award.
The annual award, presented by Character.org, showcases innovative best practices, according to a press release from the organization, which is a national nonprofit that works with schools and districts to teach young people to be ethical and engaged citizens.
This year, 327 Promising Practices awards were presented to schools, districts and youth-serving organizations in the United States and four other countries. The winning practices include unique anti-bullying programs, strategies that develop student leadership and creative ways to integrate character and academics.
Blessed Sacrament School’s 2016 winning practice is titled the Classroom Creed on Poverty.
Photo courtesy of Blessed Sacrament School