The Sustainability Fair at Highland Mill Montessori School


Join parents, teachers, and students as they host Highland Mill Montessori’s (HMM) Sustainability Fair on April 27 from 11:00am to 1:00pm, as part of the school’s efforts to become more environmentally-responsible.

The Sustainability Fair will be located at the rear of the school (rain plan: school gym) and will feature community organizations and vendors that implement sustainable practices or have sustainability as a part of their mission. While the school is hosting the fair, community members are invited to attend any part of the day.

Vendors will share information about their organization and their focus on sustainability through activities designed to encourage interest and participation from students. If an organization would like to participate but cannot attend, HMM is accepting donations for giveaways and/or funds to purchase prizes and materials for the event.

The PTA will also be hosting games, crafts, and activities that focus on waste reduction at home and school, ways to reuse items, and in-class sustainability projects. There will also be a uniform swap where families can trade or buy gently used uniform pieces. Families are invited to bring a picnic blanket and lunch and spend the afternoon at the school. 

In conjunction with the Sustainability Fair, the PTA is also hosting an Adopt-A-Street cleanup around the neighborhood as well as a gardening day to beautify school grounds and clean up the school’s many raised garden beds. Families and community members are encouraged to bring pollinator-friendly and/or ground-cover plants to plant in the nature trail area. This will take place from 9:00am to 11:00am and will wrap up as the fair begins.

The fair is just one way HMM students will be learning about and participating in sustainability efforts. Students will be focusing their efforts to reduce waste in the classroom. Each class will propose one way that HMM students can reduce waste. These projects will be presented on the school news and then a school-wide vote will decide which project(s) will move forward to school-wide implementation. In art class, students will be reusing items generally headed for the recycling bin to create a garden-themed mural that will be displayed in the school. Each grade level will create pieces of the mural which will be assembled by the upper grades. 

HMM’s Sustainability Day and in-class activities are a natural progression from the school’s efforts last spring resulting in a grant from Keep Charlotte Beautiful. Through the grant and additional funds raised by the community, the school implemented a sustainable silverware initiative and created a pollinator garden in its nature trail area at the back of the school (on the corner of McDowell Street and Charles Avenue). The success of these projects inspired the launch of the Sustainability Team as a part of the PTA, which now advises the school on ways to incorporate sustainable practices both in the PTA and school-wide. This has resulted in the elimination of bottled water at most school events—opting instead for water coolers—and a reduction in the number of paper fliers that the PTA sends home each week.

For more information on how to get involved with the Sustainability Fair, to be a vendor at this event, or to donate money or prizes for the event, please email highlandmillmontessoripta@gmail.com. Thank you for your support of your school neighbor!