SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH – (December 9, 2021) Laurel School is excited to announce it is the recipient of a $250,000 leadership grant through the Edward E. Ford Foundation. This grant, which Laurel was invited to apply for, will help launch an exciting semester-long program for Upper School students interested in environmental justice and stewardship that will take place at Laurel’s Butler Campus, the perfect setting for immersive, environmental learning.
Environmental Justice, the intersection of environmental science and social justice, is a field in which women can make an impact as they develop leadership skills, critical thinking, and collaborative and independent learning. While the program is designed for older students, its presence at Butler offers resources for our younger students as they develop their own identities as stewards of our natural world.
“When we purchased what is now known as the Butler Campus twenty-two years ago, the goal was to transform 140 acres (now 150 acres) of land to provide innovative and immersive ways of learning, utilizing the amazing natural resources Butler has to offer,” said Ann V. Klotz, Head of School. “This Environmental Justice program will bring diverse groups of students together to explore how best to care for the land and care for the common good. This, our fifth grant received through EE Ford, will help us on our continued mission to take Laurel’s culture to one of deeper learning and engagement.”
Laurel faculty believe that learning must be purposeful and relevant in order for our students to change the world. The Environmental Justice Semester, which will launch in the Fall of 2023 for girls in Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Grades—at Laurel and from other Northeastern Ohio schools–will seek to firmly position Laurel as a conveyor for girls committed to and engaged in climate work.
Furthermore, Northeastern Ohio gives the school the unique opportunity to examine Environmental Justice and stewardship through multiple lenses—its proximity to Cleveland and its rural Butler Campus provides access to several ecosystems. Cleveland, as a rustbelt city, is deeply committed to Environmental Justice—a forward-thinking Cleveland Climate Action Plan was published recently, and a host of organizations, including Lead Safe Cleveland, the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Black Environmental Leaders Association are working on environmental challenges right now.
The EE Ford grant requires a one-to-one match from Laurel School supporters. Additional fundraising efforts for this program are underway.
Founded in 1896, Laurel School is a nationally recognized school for girls in Kindergarten through Grade 12, with a coeducational Pre-Primary School. Its mission is “to inspire each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world.”