The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970. The idea was to raise awareness about our role in protecting our natural world and to educate and inspire people to protect the environment. Students at all levels can make a difference in helping our earth.
Recently, a former parent offered the school 100 Paw Paw seeds and seedlings (a native plant), along with everything needed to get them growing. The seedlings will eventually be transferred outside and they will grow into beautiful, smallish trees with pink/purple blossoms.
Our Toddler children planted some seeds in celebration of Earth Day. They planted some of the Paw Paw seeds, a tree that will be later planted on the school grounds providing shade and fruit! The children enjoyed hearing about the tree, touching the soil, and watering the seeds in the sun. Dr. Maria Montessori stated, “The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.”
Primary students celebrated planet Earth and discussed how they could commit to taking care of our precious home. They books and learned about recycling, reusing and reducing trash, composting and the compost cycle. Third-year children did creative writing with the prompt: I can protect the Earth by…. All the children enjoyed making and wearing Earth Day pendants!
The Lower Elementary has been studying Erosion during Science class and they investigated for evidence of erosion on our school grounds. We found some stones from the riprap piled on the drainage gutter so we cleared the stones to reduce flooding. They also learned that planting more trees, flowers, or plants can reduce soil erosion, so we decided to make self-watering planters to plant flower seeds and build a pumpkin patch.
The Princeton Storytelling Circle has a video for Earth Day with a collection of stories. The students will recognize Maria LoBiondo, who often comes to the school as a storyteller, as one of the storytellers in this video. Watch Earthy Tales – Stories in Tribute to the Planet we call Home
Upper Elementary enjoyed a trip in the beautiful spring sunshine to Marchese Family Farm. The students learned how Mr. Marchese uses his greenhouses to plant seeds and protect the seedlings until they are ready to be planted outside. He talked about how climate change was making the weather more extreme and unpredictable and how much work goes into producing the healthy, nutritious food that farmers grow. The class checked on the garlic that they had planted in the Fall – they were doing great! The students went to work weeding the field, which gave them a hard-earned appreciation of what farming sometimes entails! Trips to the farm give students a sense of where their food comes from and what has to be done before it arrives on their plates.