CCSD Celebrates Earth Day - April 22, 2010
Throughout the year, Charleston County School District (CCSD) schools provide innovative hands-on opportunities and classroom instruction focused on ecology. These lessons are especially apparent on Earth Day, celebrated this year on Thursday, April 22. Across the district, students, staff members, and community partners are participating in various projects, leaving students with increased knowledge, a sense of respect, and personal responsibility for the environment. Below are a few of the many examples.
At Belle Hall Elementary, students dressed in earth colors and donated money needed to plant trees at the school. Student Council representatives and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) representatives planted four trees on the playground, and Earth Force volunteers read books to the children.
Goodwin Elementarycelebrated Earth Day with a great clean-up on April 22. Students picked up trash around the school, revamped the recycling program, and created two flower beds and a new path designed to brighten the school grounds. Fifth grade teacher Susan Schottler coordinated the school's “green” efforts and discussed how human activity can directly affect the environment. The children look forward to sharing the impact of their hard work with the school and community!
Malcolm C. Hursey Elementary's Earth Keepers are ready ! Dressed in green, students in each class worked to pick up litter find stones, and pull weeds. The Earth Day mural was extremely moving with a strong message to remind everyone about one's responsibility for the future. In addition, students have recently contributed to another important conservation project. The school-wide "Walk for Haiti" event raised funds to be donated to Water Missions International.
At Laurel Hill Primary, Earth Day is every day! In Spring 2009, the school built a garden, installed rain barrels and dedicated the area at Family Art Night to retiring art teacher Robyn Meara. The garden consists of four beds including a veggie patch, which students plant and harvest for the warm and cool seasons. A second bed contains annual flowers, and a third is a perennial sense garden to invite touch, smell and sound experiences with nature. The fourth bed is a perennial butterfly garden, in which second grade students meet curriculum standards by creating a butterfly habitat. The school uses organic practices, and students are responsible for watering the plants using water collected in rain barrels.
St. Andrew's School of Math & Science teamed up with Earth Fare to recognize student efforts in taking care of the planet and local community. All students participated in a litter clean-up. Students collected trash around the school grounds, weighed the amount of litter collected, and recorded the total weight. Earth Fare provided corrugated boxes to dispose of trash and recycle items. The total weight of litter collected will be presented on a data chart as part of Earth Fare's community presentation with Mayor Riley on Earth Day at 2 pm.
The Student Council of Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary sponsored a school and family aluminum can collection to see which grade level could collect the most aluminum cans. All of the cans were taken to the county collection center and weighed by grade level.
The celebrations did not just occur at the elementary level! Charleston School of the Arts (SOA) immersed itself in a day of teachers collaboratively working together, the infusing of arts into science, students teaching students, and community members teaching students and faculty. After a school-wide picnic, students participated in a contest and constructed arts advertisements promoting conservation awareness. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley judged the entries. Chris Fisher from Fisher Recycling Company and Ian Sanchez from Coastal Expeditions spoke with students about real-world applications on conservation. Another highlight of the day occurred when Schooltube picked an Earth Day video by SOA student Kristen Clark as the featured video of the day. The holiday was an educational jubilee reinforcing that SOA is committed to students and the environment.