Part of Gilbert Elementary’s School Pledge reads, “We lead by example and with pride…making a difference in the world.” It is this sensibility, along with participation in community service projects like recycling and cleanup, that has led to them being named a South Carolina “Green Steps School”.
The Green Steps Schools statewide program began when a group of organizations created it in 2003 with three goals in mind: to teach students to “conserve, protect, and restore”. The environmental education initiative is bestowed on educational institutions who take steps toward becoming more environmentally responsible each year. Gilbert Elementary has been a Green Steps School for 6 years now, with its “Green Team” taking part in Earth Day, Cardboard Challenge, America Recycles Day, Keep Gilbert Beautiful, and in projects that involve composting, soils, plant air quality, and food production through the school’s very own vegetable garden! Gilbert Elementary was awarded the Walter P. Rawl & Sons School Garden Mini-Grant, which provides Lexington County School District One schools with funds for school gardens and other live plant projects.
This focus on community service and clean living projects all serve to make students aware of their impact on the environment, and how to lessen it. Wade McGuinn, CEO of McGuinn Hybrid Homes and builder of the nearby Miller Woods community of homes, is all for it: “Gilbert Elementary is a fine example of the forward thinking values that the Lexington County One school district is known for instilling in its students. We are proud to have built a community that has access to this great school district.”