Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Mitigating Climate Change: Rutherford ’23 at Nightingale Montessori School in Springfield, Ohio

For my second co-op, I self-designed a program which allowed me to work as an assistant project coordinate for a 140 acre farm, as well as a permaculture designer at a new campus for a Montessori school. Here I will spotlight my work at the Montessori school, where I spent most of my time during the week, even while out of school.

Mission Statement:

Nightingale Montessori is deeply committed to implementing the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori as a paradigm shift in traditional education and as a model for educational reform.

Nightingale Montessori offers an educational method that nourishes self-motivation, inspires reverence for life, and teaches the self-discipline required for responsible citizenship. Success is measured by the child’s continuing enthusiasm for learning.

Our ultimate goal is to build a model educational system (Pre K-12) that can be used as a demonstration site for the purpose of enacting crucial education and social reforms so needed in our nation’s public schools today.”

My role at the Montessori school was to help with permaculture design on campus and the removal of invasive species, making way for native species restoration and intentionally planted food forests.

There have been several projects that I have contributed to within the last three months: green house maintenance, construction of a racetrack and labyrinth in the children’s area, paving and mulching pathways, construction of a kitchen garden, inoculation of edible and medicinal mushrooms, building and designing garden beds (clover-leaf garden, mandala garden), seed starting, removal of invasive species such as honeysuckle and buckthorn, and several others.

The impact these experiences have can be broken down as follows:

Global impact- Climate change mitigation and perennial agriculture

Community impact- Food security

Individual impact- Students will get to experience the joy of the natural world and their contribution to it.

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