Original article by Courtney Radosavljevic from Fairfield's Hamlet Hub
On December 9, North Stratfield Elementary officially became a certified Connecticut Green LEAF School. There are currently 146 Green Leaf schools in Connecticut and North Stratfield is now the fourth public school in Fairfield to receive this title. The others in Fairfield include Osborn Hill, McKinley and Mill Hill elementary schools.
Courtney Radosavljevic and Amanda Ingrassia, two North Stratfield parents, started the Green Team at NSS six months ago with the hope of introducing more sustainable practices to the students and staff. With the help of Fairfield Public Schools Operations Director Angelus Papageorge, NSS Principal Debbie Jackson, head custodian Pat Teto, PTA President Katie Flynn, and PTAC VP of Sustainability Meghann McKale, they completed the assessment of the school's indoor and outdoor spaces to set goals that will reduce environmental impact and cost, improve the health and wellness of the students and staff, and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.
This certification, granted by the CT Green LEAF advisory board members Abbey Pelko, Susan Quincy and CJ May, not only unlocks grants for the school, but also provides professional development opportunities for the teachers and staff. North Stratfield is working toward becoming a more sustainable community and creating a blueprint for moving toward a greener future.
Since forming the Green Team at NSS, Courtney and Amanda have reinvigorated the outdoor ecological learning center in the courtyard, planted a commemorative tree for their beloved custodian Charlie Dias, collected and recycled four pounds of candy wrappers through Rubicons Trick or Trash Campaign, introduced their first Halloween costume swap, and most recently diverted six tons of food waste from the landfill through the Pumpkin Composting Program across seven schools.
They are looking to create a future for their kids that they can be proud of. Their motto is: “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” All are excited to see what they do next.
Follow @nssgoesgreen on Instagram to track their progress and celebrate their successes.