St. Martin of Tours Academy
In 2015, St. Martin of Tours Academy (SMA) became the first Catholic elementary school in the nation to be declared a Fair-Trade School by Fair-Trade Campaigns. Through the Fair-Trade curriculum, the whole school community learns how Fair-Trade practices support small farmers and artisans who make or grow products in developing countries in an environmentally sustainable way. SMA has an increased focus on reduced water use due to California’s drought. The school has replaced landscaping with drought-tolerant plants, rocks, and mulch throughout the property. SMA’s Sustainable Practices Policy has eliminated single-use plastic and Styrofoam. At SMA, bins are placed in the two courtyards to collect organic waste, which is placed in the three-bin compost system to complete the composting cycle. Students learn how to sustain an organic garden, which provides many opportunities for community outreach as well as environmental and life science curriculum goals. The science curriculum blends hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write, and argue like scientists and engineers.