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Assisting CCS Toward Becoming a Sustainable System, with Sustainable Schools, Sustainable Classes and Sustainable People

Let Sunshine Brighten Your School 

NC Solar Schools Challenge

The Solar Schools team invites every K-12 teacher in North Carolina to participate in the 2016 Challenge. Our aim is to inspire a generation of leaders and problem solvers through engaging classroom activities and creative contests exploring solar power.
Rain sensors are devices that can be attached to an automatic irrigation system to monitor rainfall levels. When the weather is wet, the sensor temporarily overrides the controller to prevent unnecessary irrigation so it can save you money on your water bill! For a limited time, PWC is offering a bill credit of up to $50 for installing a rain sensor on your irrigation system.

PWC’s WaterSense® Rain Sensor Program begins April 1, 2016 and ends September 30, 2016*.


Study Explores Nature’s Role in Learning

The Star - May 20, 2016 | By Andrea Gordon | In the News
Every day in Simcoe County, 150 kindergarten students are exploring new territory, and in more ways than one.

They’re doing it while marching through muddy forests during outdoor lessons across the region north of Toronto. They’re also breaking new ground in research, as subjects of a two-year study. The study is the first of its kind in Ontario and will investigate the impact of regular learning time outdoors in nature.

More than two-thirds of the 85 elementary schools in the Simcoe County District School Board have outdoor classrooms, the result of a recent push to green school grounds. Anecdotally, adults report benefits. Kids seem more engaged, curious, self-confident.

Mentoring through virtual reality: Pretty convincing

by  | May 17, 2016

2016 Principal of the Year crowned

by  | May 16, 2016


What better way to document the value of STEM mentoring than with an experiment?

That was US2020 Outreach Project Director Brett Brenton’s idea when he launched a virtual reality video project designed to capture all 360 degrees of a mentoring experience. The goal? To entice new mentors by providing them with a better sense of what mentoring looks like.  Read More...


Cumberland County Principal, Melody Chalmers, was named the 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year last week.  Read More...


The Bees’ Keepers: Students at a Virginia Beach High School Learn the Art of Beekeeping and Advocate for their Survival

By. Iris Galante and Alexis Brownlee, students at Floyd E. Kellam High School and Co-Presidents of Pollen-Nation


Did you know we have bees at our schools working hard to help teach about sustainability and agriculture.  Thanks to our local Cooperative Extension and our CCS CTE programs. 

With the hum of the bees surrounding me, I exhale and let my nerves slip away with a long slow breath. I am a senior member of the club and despite it being early in the school year, I find myself at ease returning to the bee yard. With a puff of smoke into the hive’s entrance I let the bees know our club has arrived. With excitement, I pry the lid off the top box of the hive. The aroma of honey and wax fills the air as I carefully pull a frame of capped honey writhing with bees from the super.   Read on...

12 new bee-supporting plants to plant this year

May 6, 2016 



What a grocery store without bees looks like

In an effort to promote awareness about declining bee populations, a market removes all the food that relies on bees from its produce department.

June 17, 2013, 1:30 p.m.


Trees go to 'sleep' at night, new study shows

Researchers using lasers to monitor birch trees reveal physical changes that are akin to slumber.

MICHAEL D'ESTRIESMay 19, 2016, 2:38 p.m.
Bee Plants or NC Pollinator Guide
1. Monarch Promise Milkweed (Asclepias, annual)
2. Campfire Fireburst (Bidens hybrid, annual)
3. Pink Sparkler Spirea (Spiraea betulifolia, Zones 3-8
4. Beyond Midnight Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis, Zones 5-9)
5. Mojave Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora, annual) 
6. Cha Cha Cherry Penstemon (Penstemon, Zones 7-9)
7. Meteor Shower Verbena (Verbena bonariensis, Zones 7-11 
8. Kudos Yellow Agastache (Agastache, Zones 5-10) 
9. Pardon My Cerise Bee Balm (Monarda didyma, Zones 4-8) 
10. Banana Popsicle Kniphofia (Kniphofia, Zones 6-9) 
11. Rainbow Marcella Purple Coneflower (Echinacea, Zones 4-9)
12. Denim 'n Lace Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia, Zones 4-9)


The next time you decide to take a midnight stroll through the forest, mind your footsteps. The trees are sleeping.

That's the fascinating conclusion drawn by a team of scientists from Austria, Finland and Hungary who wanted to know if trees followed day/night cycles similar to those observed in small plants. Using laser scanners pointed at two birch trees, the scientists recorded physical changes indicative of a nighttime slumber, with the tips of the birch branches drooping by as much as 4 inches towards the end of the night.  Read on...

Garden Themes for Children

A theme can be a great way to tie a garden together, and add provide inspiration for students and teachers alike. Below is an example of on such idea.  There are many more at the website from Art to International gardens

   ABC Garden   

Have students plant an alphabet garden that includes one plant whose name begins with each letter of the alphabet. They make and decorate alphabet letters to put in the garden;

From the Guilford County Cooperative Extension Service.

A Big Plan to Fight Food Waste

Every year, American consumers, businesses, and farms spend $218 billion growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten. That’s 52 million tons of food sent to landfills annually, and 10 million tons that go unharvested or discarded on farms.

Meanwhile, one in seven Americans is food insecure without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Fill the first few minutes or hours of your day with an activity that brings you happiness, and suddenly getting out of bed won't feel so hard.

Getting up in the morning would be a lot easier if you were about to do something you loved. For those individuals who say they’re not a morning person, there are ways to make waking up feel a bit less torturous. The key is to tap into what brings you joy.

There has been a lot of talk about joy recently, particularly in light of Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (see TreeHugger review) and her insistence on weeding out all possessions from your life that do not bring you joy.  Read More...

Latest articles from the Biofortified Blog


What You Learn at Forest School

Irish Times - April 29, 2016 | By Sylvia Thompson | In the News

21st Century Conservation Service Corps Set to Receive More Than $3 Million to Put Young People to Work on Public Lands Across the Nation - May 5, 2016 | By Investor Ideas Staff Writer | In the News
About 100 adults spent last weekend on the shores of Lough Dan, in Co Wicklow, sharing ideas and skills from spreading to collecting wild food and cooking gorse bread on a fire lit with a flint and steel.  Read on..


As the summer outdoor recreation season is about to kick off, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Executive Director and CEO Jeff Trandahl today partnered to announce that the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) is set to receive $3.16 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities for youth at 60 projects on public lands nationwide this summer.

The 21CSC is part of an ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young adults and veterans to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors. This year's funding announcement includes projects in 20 states.

CO2 403.28ppm ---1.4 degrees F (1880) --- Arctic ice decrease 13.4%/decade    

Land Ice down 287 gigatons/year   ---    Sea level rising 3.4 mm/year

2016 Air Quality Poster Contest Winners

A huge well-job done to FAMPO and The Arts Council for making last week's student appreciation and contest possible!

It's Air Quality Awareness Month!

Want to check on real-time ozone and/or particulate matter levels?  Check out the AIRNow app, available on Apple and Android devices, as well as plane old website:

KNOW THE CODE! is a multi-county effort to increase awareness and use of the air quality forecast system (code) to help older adults (55 and older) better plan their outdoor activities and take steps to protect their health.  Click below to learn more! 
Gloria Thomas Lengel

Sustainable Sandhills
Cumberland County Schools 

Go Green Initiative
Green Schools Program

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810 Gillespie Street
Fayetteville, NC 29306

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Cumberland County Schools · 810 Gillespie St · Fayettteville, NC 28306 · USA

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