Online Courses in Sustainability
Overview of Earth Day
For our 2011 green service we had an Earth Day Celebration which included making crafts from usable items, putting up a greenhouse, planting items to put in the greenhouse and establishing a compost bin. Our celebration took place in two parts. In the morning we had seven centers set up for the Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade to go through (approximately 46 children). Each center was supervised by a parent volunteer. The students who were to participate were divided up and given an older student (4th-7th grade) to lead their group. The groups went through the centers which consisted of decorating reusable grocery bags, painting an Earth, planting flowers to take home, planting vegetables for our greenhouse, making milk jug birdfeeder, coloring a giant “thank you for helping the Earth” poster and making a bug craft from old egg cartons.
While our younger students were traveling through their centers other older students were outside with parent volunteers cleaning up and fluffing our mulch areas, assembling our new greenhouse, putting up a new birdfeeder and painting our new compost bin. Two very brave students counted and boxed up empty CapriSun juice boxes to ship to Terracycle, a company that creates new products out of garbage. (They probably had the grossest job!)
Our students were involved in the Earth Day Celebration from start to finish. It was their idea to build a greenhouse and compost bin. They want to initiate no-trash Fridays with the compost bin and be involved in growing their own vegetables and plants.
We accomplished so many things during our Earth Day Celebration. In the front of our school the mulch beds were fluffed and cleaned out, garbage was picked up and new flowers were planted. We put up a greenhouse and filled it with vegetables and flowers. A compost bin was installed and put to use with last year’s dead foliage. Students took home flowers to plant in their own gardens and reusable grocery bags they decorated that day to help stop the use of plastic bags. Several new birdfeeders were put up in the front of the school as a teaching tool for some of the classes.
Continuous Green Projects
Over the course of this school year we have instituted a number of on-going projects to help keep the school green. We are now recycling paper, plastic and glass on a weekly basis. We are sending in CapriSun juice pouches to Terracycle instead of putting them in the garbage. Teachers are using washable clothes to clean tables and messes instead of using and wasting paper towel. Batteries are being recycled as well. For all of our efforts we were just became a “Michigan Green School – Emerald Level”. It has been a great green year for us!
“Great Stories” & Quotes from Volunteers from Earth Day
First I got to paint the compost bin. Then I had to put the weeds in the compost bin. Then we had pizza. Then we planted the plants and put them in the greenhouse. ~As written by Alexis, Chapman student, Grade 5.
Today was very fun. I had six preschoolers. Two preschoolers were fighting over chairs. I helped preschoolers plant. The Kindergarten girl acted poorly. I planted a lot with an 8th grader. I carried a ton of bags of dirt. Today I got very dirty. ~As written by John, Chapman student, Grade 5.
Today I was keeping track of the Kindergarteners and making sure they got to their places. I was carrying a painted earth and it spilled all over me. I will have a few stains. I lost my whole group besides one. The one spilled her puff ball for her bug and I had to help her pick it up. ~As written by Lara, Chapman student, Grade 5
My group was awesome. They all listened and paid attention with the projects. They did not run ff and I did not lose any of them. They all agreed on planting cantaloupe. They had fun drawing and making bugs plus bird feeders. ~As written by Bryce, Chapman student, Grade 4
“My preschoolers thought it was so fun to turn trash into treasures. An insect out of an egg carton and a yogurt container into a potted plant really makes a four year old smile!” ~Kasey Jackson, Lead Red Apple Preschool Teacher, Four-year-old Room