Tree Campus K–12
Case Study: South Grand Prairie High School
School ProfileType of School: Public high school serving a culturally and economically diverse population of 3,500 students in grades 9 through 12.
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
Champion: Amber Bermudez, Teacher and Club Sponsor
South Grand Prairie High School’s approach to Tree Campus K–12 is one of collaboration. With new campus fig trees earned through a grant, an extracurricular club became dedicated to nurturing these trees and including students with special needs in their care.
Following is a breakdown of how the school approached each of the four program goals.
Goal: Tree Campus Team
Members of South Grand Prairie High School’s Kindness Crew, a club established on each school campus within the district, stepped up to serve as the Tree Campus Team. The purpose of this club is to bring together staff and students in a commitment to change the culture of the school by promoting kindness and compassion in the school community. Throughout the year, various club activities focus on inclusion and community service.
Goal: Education Plan
Under the direction of Ms. Bermudez, the Kindness Crew chose to focus on nurturing the fig trees recently purchased with the fundraising help of environmental science classes and Future Farmers of America (FFA) students. After learning about the proper planting and care of these trees, Kindness Crew students shared their skills with students with special needs and included them in lessons on nurturing these trees and harvesting their fruit for food — an excellent example of the deeper learning that comes from teaching others.
Goal: Hands-On Experience
After earning a grant to install an irrigation system for the newly planted fig trees and learning about their proper care and maintenance, the students set forth nurturing the trees. By participating in their ongoing care, students gain important opportunities to get outside and take responsibility for the organisms providing shade, clean air, and food to the campus — and most importantly to the Kindness Crew, camaraderie.
Goal: Arbor Day Observance
On Arbor Day, students participated in an event at their local nature center by preparing and manning a group photo station filled with fun props and based on the Dr. Seuss classic, The Lorax. This provided an opportunity to engage and educate younger students who visited the exhibit about the importance of planting trees. Future celebrations will also include a spotlight on the newly planted fig trees and the food they provide for the whole campus to see.
We understand that trees benefit our environment and can provide sustainable food sources. We care about reducing our carbon footprint and want to educate students and faculty on ways that trees clean our air and reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”Amber Bermudez, Teacher and Club Sponsor