Certified GREEN Preschool
The Cottages stands alone in Florida as the Leader in implementing healthy change in the Early Learning environment. - Bill Muller, NGSC consultant
The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center is excited to announce we have been awarded the Level II Green School Certification with the National Green School Coalition. The NGSC is a national, independent, third-party green school certification and audit program governed by a group of environmental professionals. The program is implemented through trained, knowledgeable, consultants who are passionate about conserving our most recious resources – our children and the planet.
The Cottages was chosen as the pilot program in August of 2010. By January of 2011, we became Sarasota's first certified green preschool. Since opening in June of 2009,The Cottages has been committed to protecting our children from environmental hazards while providing a high quality early education program in Sarasota County.
Many schools claim to be “Green” because they operate a recycling program or grew a vegetable garden and irrigate with water from a rain barrel. The Cottages has done these three “Green” accomplishments plus 96 more. The National Green School Coalition (NGSC) has developed a roadmap to become a “Green “ school. The roadmap currently has listed 184 Green actions in the areas of improving Indoor Air Quality, eliminating Environmental Toxins and reducing Energy, Water and Waste.
Points are awarded for each action completed and verified by on-site NGSC visits, receipts and photos. When a school completes 100 points the Coalition recognizes this significant accomplishment by awarding the school the status as a Level I CERTIFIED GREEN SCHOOL. The Cottages achieved this level in 2011.
The Cottages has earned over 250 total points! 100 of these are mandatory points. When a school earns 200 points with 100 mandatory points, the Coalition recognizes this extraordinary achievement by awarding the status as a Level II CERTIFIED GREEN SCHOOL for 2012.
We provide a healthy, sustainable and non-toxic learning environment through monitoring the indoor air quality in each learning cottage as well as conserving energy and water. We use non-toxic toys and supplies as well as non-toxic cleaning chemicals, disinfectants and sanitizers. Furthermore, we have eliminated toxic pesticides and fertilizers from our outdoor learning environments.
At The Cottages, we educate the children on the importance of environmentalism through our daily lessons. The children are taught to use
our resources sustainably through reducing, reusing and recycling. Moreover, children are encouraged to respect and appreciate the natural world around them and enjoy spending time in our organic school garden. All of the early childhood educators at The Cottages have received training through the National Green School Coalition and are Certified Green
To find out more about the NGSC, check out www.nationalgreenschoolcoalition.org.