Environmental Literacy Educator Is Involved Beyond The Classroom


Allison Davis, an English teacher at Broadneck High School, is making a huge impact on her community both in and outside of her school. Davis has been with Anne Arundel County Public Schools for 17 years, which includes Glen Burnie, Severna Park and Broadneck high schools. In addition to English, Davis is also the lead teacher in the Environmental Literacy Signature Program at Broadneck and an advisor to the National Honor Society and the gardening club.

“I often say Allison is the only reason anything grows at Broadneck,” joked Stacy Roth, a signature program facilitator at Broadneck High School who nominated Davis as Volunteer of the Month. “We have nine raised garden beds, several in-ground gardens, including an award-winning (United States Department of Agriculture) certified People’s Garden, successful rain garden, a new pollinator garden and a greenhouse.

“Allison manages all of that on top of her teaching load. Broadneck is not only more beautiful due to her efforts, but we are an example of sustainability and stewardship because of the expertise and dedication she brings to the table.”

On May 4, under Davis’ guidance, Broadneck High School students representing 11 clubs will host Goshen Farm Family Day, a free community event for young children and their families centered around nature and the environment. Now in its third year, the event continues to grow, and is completely run by student volunteers.

“It is a unique event because the entire thing is hosted by student groups,” Davis explained. “We have clubs from the Eco-Action Club to robotics club, to volunteers from our AVID classes. This year, we are adding a few new activities such as a scavenger hunt nature walk, sand sifting and pressed-flower art. In addition, some of our most-loved events will be back, like face painting, story time, and the robots.”

As the environmental literacy lead teacher, Davis helps student groups plan Family Day and implement their activities for the event. Participants this year can paint recycled flowerpots, play a cornhole game that teaches recycling, watch robots build reef balls, etch leaves, make birdfeeders, and much more. Additionally, Davis has booked a student to provide live music, and a Broadneck alum will bring his Moonlight Basin BBQ food truck.

“This event is important because it connects Broadneck High School students with their local community. They independently run all the tables at the event; they come up with the ideas for the activities, they plan them, create them, assemble and disassemble the tables on event day, and volunteer their time,” Davis explained. “This is a great leadership opportunity for our students right here in our community as positive environmental advocates and role models for the younger generation. It’s not only a fun day for the little kids, but it is a great growth and learning experience for our high school students.”

Roth added that Goshen Farm Family Day is a passion project for Davis, noting that much of the coordination and leadership happens on Davis’ own time and is driven by a desire to serve her community and the environment.

“Allison has helped countless students connect with the environment in new ways and has made herself an extremely valuable asset to the environmental literacy program at BHS,” Roth said.

She has dedicated much of her personal time to becoming an expert in the field and connecting with resources and opportunities she can bring back to students and teachers at Broadneck.

Environmental Literacy at Broadneck is a class to help students become more knowledgeable about their relationship with the environment as human beings. Students learn how common practices affect the environment and how that environmental reaction will impact them in return. In addition to learning how to make responsible decisions that affect the environment, students learn about the larger picture such as environmental economics, law and policies that may not be within their direct control. They learn about the complexity of environmental issues at play to get an understanding of how the entire system of environmentalism works.

“Instead of saying ‘save the planet,’ we should really be saying ‘save the humans,’” Davis said. “The Earth will continue to exist, but in what condition? Protecting the environment is essential for our own survival, and the status quo is not sustainable.”

Davis has three children enrolled at Broadneck Elementary School, so she volunteers at the school as often as she can.

To learn more about the Goshen Farm Family Day scheduled for May 4 from 10:30am–3:00pm, visit the “Goshen Farm Family Days” Facebook page.


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