Monday, October 12, 2015

CHES Trailers - Transformed Into Learning Cottages!

Have you ever really noticed the eight classroom trailers at CHES?    Although a reality for many schools that have outgrown their school buildings, they are not usually considered a positive addition to the school landscape.  The PTA Green Committee set out to try and improve them, and make them more of an asset for the students and the school community.

In the Spring of 2015, the committee applied for and received a grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful to carry out this project.  The proposal was to assign each trailer with an environmental theme.  The themes for the trailers behind the school are the five geological regions of Virginia: Appalachian Plateau, Valley and Ridge, Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain.  The themes for the three trailers beside the school are Earth, Sun, and Moon.  Each trailer was to receive educational signage, planters, and other decorative improvements corresponding to its theme.  The themes directly connect to the science and social studies curricula. 

On October 10, 2015, PTA volunteers, teachers, parents,  community partners, and student Environmental Cabinet members came together for a service project, aligning with the international Green Apple Day of Service organized annually by the Center for Green Schools.  Educational signage was fabricated and installed by VA Print Shop.  Deteriorated door mats were removed and replaced with new decorative flags and mats.  The new flag brackets and poles were donated by Lowe's at Winterpock.   The trailers are numbered 0-7, however many had outdated, damaged, or inconsistent labeling, so doors were cleaned and re-numbered.  Brickman Group/Valley Crest donated all the supplies needed to give each trailer a new planter with brightly colored plants that will be maintained by Brickman.

It was a wonderful, fun day, the "learning cottages" have new life and fresh identities, and will hopefully be a little more inspiring for the people that use them every day. As the students can tell you, where we learn matters!  Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project, and to the school Administration for their enthusiastic support.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Green Apple Day of Service 2015

CHES is very excited to be participating for the third year in the Green Apple Day of Service, an international movement through the USGBC Center for Green Schools.

This year, we'll be working on a project to turn our eight classroom trailers into assets by transforming them into environmental-themed learning cottages.  Each trailer will have its own theme, and will be decked out with educational signage from VA Print Shop, decorative flags and door mats, and colorful planters that will be maintained as a service project by The Brickman Group landscaping.

This project was made possible by a grant received from Keep Virginia Beautiful.  Thank you to KVB, Brickman, and all of the school staff, PTA volunteers, and community volunteers that are helping out with this!

If you'd like to come to our Green Apple service day, it will be held Saturday October 3rd.  Sign up here, or just show up!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thank you James River Grounds Management!

James River Grounds Management continues to serve as a wonderful community partner for our courtyard beautification efforts.  Check out the work they have done in our large courtyard this spring! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Earth Week Celebrations

Our student environmental cabinet, led by teacher sponsor Mrs. Cavan, helped the whole school recognize Earth Week and "Love Our Earth"!

Students planted seeds in the Courtyards...

...cleaned up trash around school grounds during part of their recess time...


...dressed like plants...

...and distributed special gifts to faculty and staff!

At CHES we Love Our Earth!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Love Our Earth Week 2015

Love Our Earth Week!
April 20-24, 2015
Monday, April 20th: 

Love our Earth Week Poster Contest for each grade level.  One winner per grade level will have a pizza lunch with Mrs. Hines and Ms. Carle at a future date.  Poster due:  Wednesday, April 22 by 9:00am to Room 43.  (Teachers will be provided with a copy for each student)

Everything Grows with Love~ each student in every class will plant seeds to care for at school or at home.  During recess on P.E. day, you are invited to the courtyard to plant seeds with your class.  All supplies will be out there for your students with directions.  Please enjoy the courtyard and the natural educational backdrop.  Please be respectful of the plants and landscape. 

Tuesday, April 21st:  Everyone wear green and take a step towards going green!

Wednesday, April 22nd: Earth Day

Earth Day Posters for poster contest due!

 Environmental Committee leaders will read “earth awareness” books to K-1 classes. 

Special Gift for Faculty and Staff from the Environmental Cabinet!

Thursday, April 23rd:  School-wide clean up!  For the first 10 minutes of recess, please take your class to an outdoor area around our school and collect trash.  Let’s SYNERGIZE and take pride in our school! (A trash bag will be in your mailbox)

Friday, April 24th: Dress like a Plant!!!  Let’s see who can use their creativity and come up with a unique outfit!!!  Poster Contest winners announced!

This week has been planned, organized and carried out with love by the Environmental Cabinet of the Student Leadership Council.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Full Terracycle

The student Environmental Cabinet got to see the full circle results of their recycling efforts. 

The students and PTA Green Committee work all year to collect chip bags and juice pouches in the cafeteria and send them to Terracycle for recycling and upcycling (making them into new products).

With the cash prize money won last fall in the Connect the Dots for Green Schools challenge, they purchased finished product items made from the juice pouches and chip bags. 

Each cabinet member chose an item to keep and take back to their classes to help promote the recycling project.  The remaining items were donated to the school to use for teacher gifts or to sell in the school store.

Terracycle uses the recyclabes to make school supplies like pencil pouches and folders, and also all kinds of unique gifts and home products.

These items can be purchased at  Buying the finished product items will help ensure that they will keep offering their wonderful special recycling programs!

CHES and Project:Homes Team Up for Energy Savings

project:HOMES is now offering a Home Energy Check-Up, as part of Dominion Virginia Power’s energy efficiency program. 

The Home Energy Check-Up gives single family residents an overview of their home’s energy performance, as well as some on-the-spot installment measures, like compact fluorescent light bulbs, smart power strips, and hot water pipe insulation.

project:HOMES charges $25 for the entire Check-Up, including the installments. For every resident of a single family home who orders a Check-Up and mentions CHES, project:HOMES will give $15 back to the school.

The more homes that participate, the greater the gain: both in funds for the organization and in energy savings.

Call Susan Hill at (804) 612-3350 or email her at to schedule your Check-Up, and don't forget to mention CHES! 

Your Home Energy Check-Up will be performed by the Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA), a wholly owned subsidiary of project:HOMES. RREA is a community service nonprofit that helps homeowners make their homes healthier, more comfortable, and more efficient.