Press Release: Conservatory Lab Charter School Announces Environmental Science Education Funding from Cedar Tree Foundation

For Immediate Release

Funding will support programs, professional development, and dissemination

Dorchester, MA— October 16, 2018 — Conservatory Lab Charter School has received a three-year grant of $480,000 from the Cedar Tree Foundation to support environmental education in preschool through eighth grades. This grant supports professional development, investments in new curriculum and equipment, programs such as community environmental mapping, school gardens, and dissemination. This grant will bolster Conservatory Lab’s commitment to interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). “We are thrilled by Cedar Tree’s generous donation to support the expansion of our science expeditions that allow students to immerse themselves in science content, make connections to the rich opportunities in our local environment, and learn through service learning projects to make a difference in our community,” said Principal Nicole Mack.

A Conservatory Lab student takes a water sample at Savin Hill Cove during environmental science fieldwork in October 2018

The project will culminate in a conference during the 2020-2021 school year to share Conservatory Lab’s environmental science curriculum and interdisciplinary projects. With the support of nonprofit partner Center for Artistry and Scholarship (CAS), Conservatory Lab will offer this conference to elementary and middle school educators throughout greater Boston to share insight into environmental education best practices, including youth participatory research that will be shared in a student symposium. “We’re so grateful to the Cedar Tree Foundation for both supporting STEAM and in-depth environmental education at Conservatory Lab, and for helping us to share what we’ve learned to amplify the work throughout the region,” said Linda Nathan, Executive Director of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship.

In October 2018, Conservatory Lab students visit Savin Hill Cove using fieldwork to practice environmental science.

Sophia Kolehmainen, Executive Director of the Cedar Tree Foundation, shared her excitement about the work that the grant makes possible, noting, “The Cedar Tree Foundation is thrilled to support the science program at The Conservatory Lab Charter School. Our hope is that our grant provides excellence in science education to the world’s future leaders and citizens who will be most charged with addressing compelling environmental issues.”

About the Cedar Tree Foundation

The Cedar Tree Foundation is a United States-focused family foundation created in the mid-1990s by the late pediatrician and entrepreneur, Dr. David H. Smith. Dr. Smith believed in the power of individuals and organizations to make significant changes in the world and Cedar Tree’s grantmaking continues to reflect that belief. The Cedar Tree Foundation supports change through two programs: The David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program and The Cedar Tree Foundation Grant Program.

About the Conservatory Lab Charter School

Founded in 1999, the Conservatory Lab Charter School aims to empower a diverse range of children as scholars, artists, and leaders through unique and rigorous academic and music education. The school also works to enrich the community in Dorchester and the greater Boston area through performance, service, and education. Conservatory Lab holds the distinction of being the first public school in the United States to adopt the ensemble-focused music program El Sistema into its school day, providing every student with daily music instruction.


For more information, please contact:
Jill Davidson