Emerald Keepers is pleased to honor Toni Trinidad as the Emerald Keeper of the Month for January. As the Innovation Lab (iLab) teacher for Village Elementary School, Toni is familiar with educating the technologically-apt generation, but she’s also nurturing students’ love for nature by utilizing the Emerald Keepers website in her lessons. Toni was originally inspired to make her classroom Emerald Green, Ocean Blue certified after attending the Annual Emerald Keepers Community Conference the past two years.
“We started with putting the weekly Emerald Keepers pages from the Coronado Eagle & Journal into our classroom, where students can go to read and discuss the topics when they have extra time. What I love is that [the Emerald Keepers pages] are very local and specific for the kids’ community. I think that sparks their curiosity and lets them know there’s something happening right here and how they can get involved, and I think that’s great,” says Toni.
Coronado School Foundation’s financial support in granting teachers’ wishes makes environmental iLab units possible. Toni’s wish for a school-wide supply of native pollinator-friendly seeds with all the seed-starting accouterments will be made possible come springtime, when all students will learn the importance behind planting native pollinator-friendly seeds and start their own seedlings in the iLab.
“iLab is about helping kids identify problems and find solutions, which I think can relate to the environment, fostering [student’s] future ability to take care of the environment, and [student’s] feeling empowered to solve problems. The kids are encouraged to find ways they can help the environment but also learn how to share what they know with people who might not know it,” says Toni.
By introducing environmental awareness and Emerald Keepers to students at elementary age, Toni is setting them up for a lifetime commitment to bettering the environment, academically at Coronado schools and personally in their own lifestyles, just like Toni herself.
When not teaching in the iLab, Toni keeps a pollinator-friendly garden at home from which Toni has brought monarch chrysalises from her for students to observe. Toni adds, “Several classes got lucky and were able to watch the butterflies emerge and dry their wings. It was so special, and I know it was a magical moment for many students who truly felt inspired to support pollinators as a result.”
Emerald Keepers thanks and congratulates Toni Trinidad for her passionate efforts in building a strong foundation and community of students who appreciate and care for the environment.