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Students go green to care for God's creation

At Magnificat High School, an all girls’ school in the Diocese of Cleveland, we enable our young women to develop into extraordinary leaders. Part of the leadership involves developing new ways to care for God’s creation. About ten years ago, a group of our students came back from summer immersion trips to Ecuador, Appalachia and Immokalee, Florida, where they had witnessed how environmental devastation and the lack of access to water affects persons in poverty.  We brainstormed about how we could do our part as a community to care for creation and protect vulnerable persons. Together, we implemented new programs in sustainability, recycling, composting, waste reduction, gardening and tree planting. Each year, our students pick an environmental theme on which to focus and design school-wide education activities to promote the annual theme and to involve the entire school in actions. Our students study Pope Francis’ Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home) and reflect on how we can better care for God’s creation. Our school also has several clubs to help students live out this call, including the Sustainability Club, the Seeds of Service Club and the rain garden project.  We teach our students to learn, reflect, and then lead, in order to care for our earth and all the people who live on it.