students show off produce grown in school garden

Sheboygan, WI (November 8, 2017) – The Etude Group has had two projects selected for a 2017 Cellcom Green Gift. Etude Elementary School received a $2000 Green Gift from Cellcom to support the addition of an afterschool garden club. The Etude Ecology Lab & Gardens are also receiving a $2000 Green Gift to support additional science equipment for the environmental club.

The Etude Group schools core value is to develop creative and innovative thinking through authentic disciplinary projects in order to cultivate the next generation of change makers. At Etude Elementary, the after school garden club will be an extension of earth science curriculum that is taught and give students another hands-on opportunity to learn.

“The focus of this club will be to maintain existing gardens and to create a garden around our newly renovated entrance. Etude Elementary is fortunate to have access to a great deal of greenspace around the school. We use this space within our school day learning to develop authentic projects. These projects help students better understand habitat needs to sustain the wildlife within the area. The club will allow students to dig deeper and learn more about the concepts they are exploring during the school day,” said Susan Griffiths, principal of Etude Elementary. “In the club, students will research native species that are historically true to our area and the conditions needed for the species to thrive. Students who have enjoyed learning outside will have an authentic way to further develop understanding of the world around them.”

The Green Gift from Cellcom will help purchase the plants and landscaping materials needed to facilitate the school garden and the larger goal of sparking an interest in understanding and appreciating the environmental world. The Etude Ecology Lab & Gardens expands on this spark when students reach middle and high school. Their mission is to develop, support and sustain student-led environmental investigations beyond classroom work into the realm of citizen science and problem solving. The Green Gift for the Ecology Lab Gardens will support the purchase of equipment for the long-term mapping and evaluation of the Sheboygan River watershed.

“In the short term, students will share evidence and creative responses with the local community about the inhabitants and state of our water and forests, emphasizing the larger environmental value of our urban habitat. The long-term cumulative data could lead to community interventions in both forests and valuable additions to citizen scientist information about the Sheboygan watershed. Our planned urban and wild forest and water studies will be shared digitally and at presentations with our Sheboygan and world community,” said Karen Robinson, Life Science Teacher at Etude High School. “In the future, the community will continue to benefit from students who can address an environmental need, develop investigations, collect and organize data, present evidence and conceive of solutions and plans to improve our home habitat.”

Etude Elementary and Etude Ecology Lab & Gardens were among 33 green organizations that received a share of the $44,000 in Green Gifts from Cellcom this year. The Green Gifts program launched in 2010 and uses funds generated from Cellcom’s cell phone recycling program to fund green nonprofit initiatives. Customers and community members can bring in their old or unwanted phones to be reused and recycled. Cellcom sends the phones to recyclers who in return send money to Cellcom for the materials that were saved from the phones. Cellcom’s Green Gift program completes the green cycle that starts with consumers being environmentally-conscious and donating their devices.

“Our service area is fortunate to be teeming with non-profits that are creatively using their resources to help the environment though education and activism. Donating your phone allows us to contribute to their efforts through our Green Gifts program and ultimately work toward a greener tomorrow,” said Brighid Riordan, director of public affairs and customer experience initiatives at Cellcom.

Visit Cellcom’s website for the full list of award recipients. Cellcom is proud to support organizations of all sizes, whose work is impacting the community and building a greener tomorrow. The company’s recycling program has generated $310,975 for local charities over the past 14 years.

Cellcom is an innovative wireless company that provides nationwide service for its customer base throughout Wisconsin and Michigan, with more than 50 retail and agent locations. Cellcom is respected for its long-standing reputation of delivering extraordinary customer care, being a strong community partner, and for its renowned network, which is customized to its rural markets. As a subsidiary of Nsight, Cellcom is part of a family of companies offering complete telecommunications services.