Pleasant Plains Elementary School

In addition to being named a Green School, Pleasant Plains Elementary School is participating in the World Languages Lighthouse Program. Here, members of the Office of World Language recognize Pleasnt Plains by presenting a certficate. . From left, are Gevene Harden, ESOL family school liaison; Tracy Barr, parent service coordinator; Lauren Tillman, assistant principal; Maureen Partilla, principal; Brian Schiffer, OWL director; Judy Opfer, OWL supervisor. (Submitted photo / June 10, 2014)

Last month, I recognized Riderwood Elementary for their recognition as a Green School. They aren't the only school in the area to become more environmentally conscious.

Pleasant Plains Elementary School was notified in early May that it became a designated Maryland Green School. Pleasant Plains was recognized for their hard work and efforts in reducing waste products, such as water, paper, electricity and food, and increasing student awareness in the environment by learning about native animals and plants, as well as Maryland habitats and waterways.

According to the Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education website, the Maryland Green School Awards Program is a "holistic, integrated approach to authentic learning that incorporates local environmental issue investigation and professional development with environmental best management practices and community stewardship."

Local schools like Pleasant Plains and others achieve this status not only for what they have done, but how they plan to sustain their environmental awareness and green practices for years to come. One aspect of the plan that Pleasant Plains is pursuing calls for strong community support.

The school is now recruiting volunteers for their Garden Project, where they are constructing raised garden beds, thanks largely to the funds that were raised by community residents Nicholas and Deborah Linehan.

Volunteers are also needed to keep up with watering, weeding and providing general garden maintenance over the summer. In addition, the school is looking for master or "effective" gardeners to teach a summer gardening workshop to interested students.

In addition to their call for volunteers, they are also looking for cedar wood for the frame of the raised garden bed, top soil, hardware and vegetables.

Pleasant Plains is appreciative of the Linehan family and these community individuals and organizations for their support: The Associates of Loch Raven Village, Mark Sakson and family, Robin Thompson, Levi Planter, Bill Weber, Kevin Dunn, Susie Peeling, Kathy and Barry Schech, Jackie Silverthorne, Home Depot of Towson, Target of Towson, and Target of Cockeysville.

If you are interested in becoming involved, or simply have a question, comment, or idea, contact Mr. Jasper (sjasper@bcps.org) or Mrs. Schech (kschech@bcps.org).

Congratulations to Pleasant Plains, along with Hampton, Padonia and West Towson elementary schools, who were chosen as four of 10 schools that will become part of a World Language Lighthouse Program during the 2014-2015 school year. Fourth-grade students will pilot a Spanish immersion program, which will be expanded to all fourth-grade students by the 2015-2016 academic year. The students will have Spanish instruction every day via computer software, and an instructor will visit once a week to teach lessons in the classroom.