On October 21, 2011, Michigan State University teacher education alumna Clare Adamus was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from Keep Michigan Beautiful, an organization that promotes and recognizes beautification and restoration projects throughout the state of Michigan.
Pam Frucci, the secretary of the Keep Michigan Beautiful board of directors, nominated Adamus after reading a New Educator article about her outstanding commitment to sustainable living. The article described Adamus’ teaching internship year at Maybury Elementary School, where she initiated the school’s first-ever recycling program and wrote two integrated units for her third-graders about recycling, the environment and the importance of their actions.
“It will be up to future generations to solve the problems that will occur due to limited resources and growing demand for these resources,” Adamus said. “In order to provide students with the background and skills to tackle these problems, teachers and parents must be introducing these terms, ideas and green lifestyles to students.
“This can be done through units, class discussions, current events, recycling, reusing and reducing. The first and most obvious place to start is in our own communities and state.”
“MSU is a very green community, which even further propelled my interests to help affect change in this area,” she said. “When writing my integrated units, I was encouraged to appeal to student interest when selecting topics and activities. This made the unit rich, engaging, and extremely hands on for the students.”
Adamus currently works at Rockford Public Schools as the first sixth-grade Spanish immersion teacher, where she teaches sixth-grade language arts and social studies completely in Spanish.