Animals and students find sanctuary in the Environmental Educational Center  

in Features by

While the Environmental Educational Center (EEC) has been around for 10 years, not all students are aware of its existence nor do they know of its more recent changes. Recently, Lower School has added an Environmental Education class to teach 2nd through 5th grade students environmental skills and expose them to a variety of animals. 

Kerri Reynolds, the main caretaker of the EEC, wants to encourage kids “to learn hands-on,” as they learn to grow plants and harvest their own food, for example. As the world becomes more technological, learning these lessons early on becomes important, according to Ms. Reynolds. 

Due to now having a class that educates students in the environment and skills tied to it, the EEC now truly lives up to its name to be an educational center. 

English 2 Honors teacher, Ms. Laci Cedeno, held classes in the EEC that immersed her students in nature and allowed them to create poems about the animals, trees and the environment. 

“I loved our class there,” sophomore Alice Prado said. “I was able to hold one of the snakes and take a look at all of the animals that live there. I had only been inside the EEC before one time, and coming back here made me very happy.” 

The National English Honor Society held this year’s induction ceremony there, which had the light atmosphere and informality that Ms. Raquel Bolanos, club advisor, wanted. Similarly, clubs like the Hope Club held a meeting in the EEC with service dogs to help students relax and enjoy the environment. 

According to Ms. Reynolds, the EEC was mostly used for children’s holiday shows until a few years ago. However, the spot now serves not only as a habitat to several species but also gives other students a great exposure to nature and the world around them. 

Inside the EEC where various animals live, such as the famous African Spur tortoise Sheldon, seven different bird species and some duck and squirrel visitors from time to time. (Photo/Nina Vieira)

Lower school students during their class in the ECC, where they learned how to properly garden. (Photo/Nina Vieira)