Commitment to the environment is a core part of Paideia’s Framework of Values: the school encourages students to take responsibility for the environment and for advocating preservation and protection of the natural world. Paideia strives to teach students that we must meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations.
Paideia’s commitment is evident throughout the school, including the Parent Green Team, the Student Green Team, curriculum, facilities, construction and renovation, land and resource stewardship, professional development and community outreach. The Georgia Recycling Coalition, the Green Schools Alliance and U.S. Green Building Council have recognized Paideia’s achievements with commendations and awards.
From Garbage to Black Gold: Paideia is particularly proud of two closely linked areas of focus: waste reduction and urban agriculture. Early efforts at recycling eventually led to greater waste reduction through composting; all that compost naturally led to the development of gardens and the urban agriculture program, expanding in complexity from a few heads of lettuce to a variety of vegetables, the cultivation of bees and raising chickens. Fostering this connection to the natural world through intertwined learning activities has become an essential part of the school’s commitment to environmental awareness.
In 2012, Paideia hired an urban agriculture coordinator to engage the school community in farming. Through urban agriculture, students, teachers, and parents learn about the synergistic relationships between growing crops, eating, raising animals, reusing waste, and the related nutritional and environmental benefits. Paideia families are enthusiastically embracing the value of urban agriculture by working with teachers and students to farm sections both on campus and in the neighborhood.