FSMN has adopted the Friends Environmental Education Network statement of purpose which states:
“Friends schools have a special obligation to include environmental education in their programs in order to promote a sustainable future for all life. Our students should learn how they can best understand, preserve, and restore the natural processes, resources, and beauty so vital to the earth and to humankind’s physical and spiritual health. These goals grow directly from fundamental Quaker beliefs and testimonies.“
While understanding that environmental education requires a strong grounding in diverse curricula, FSMN also recognizes an intangible element not easily reflected in the scope and sequence. We know that the connection to other life and developing a sense of place grow from numerous experiences in nature. We attempt to nourish and celebrate this connection through visual art, language arts, movement, and music; thus, environmental education is woven into all curricula.
The environmental education program prepares students by …
- validating their innate fascination with the natural world,
- instilling a sense of respect and reverence for the world around them,
- fostering their sense of place in the world and attachment to the natural world,
- modeling simple living,
- providing a solid scientific framework with which to understand environmental issues,
- providing the skills to make conscientious decisions,
- instilling a sense of hope and commitment to the future,
- helping them become responsible citizens rather than simply consumers, and
- breaking down the artificial barrier our culture imposes between the human-made and natural worlds.