Prof. Władysław Szafer’s Primary School No. 4 in Ełk is often called an ”eco-friendly” school. Since 1996 the ecological issues are included in many lessons, school subjects, projects and activities. The school community is involved in the activities carried out in cooperation with numerous local and foreign partners. We have experience in projects with teachers from the U.S.A. and Europe. The patron of the school is a precursor of the legal protection of the natural environment in Poland – professor Wladyslaw Szafer. This patronage requires teaching staff to take initiatives and environmentally-friendly projects which are implemented with the students but also with their parents, city and county authorities, institutions and NGOs.
For its educational work our school received numerous awards. All of our initiatives and projects on environmental education and sustainable development were honored in this way. Among these awards are the first in Poland Green Certificates (level I and II) that gives us a title of ”Environmentally Friendly School” and ”School - a Centre for Sustainable Development” award for the actions of the program on environmental education. In December 2004 we received a Certificate from Warmia and Mazury School Superintendent as "Environmentally Friendly School" in the project “I know, I understand, I do, so what more can I do for the environment” and then, the 2nd Certificate (2008). In 2006, we received the Grand Prize for the quality of the management of educational institution from the Marshal of Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship in Olsztyn. In 2009, we received the “Ełcki Bocian” statuette- a distinction for efforts to county residents. We have won the finalist title of the ”Open School” in the category of global education for the school campaign called “An Intelligent Energy on Mazury”. Our school teaching staff is constantly improving its ability to take environmental issues and is involved in local projects, an example is the initiative of planting 585 trees on the 585th birthday of Elk.