Earth Day dawned sunny and cold, with a strong, brisk wind that didn’t deter students and staff from heading outside to revel in nature and marvel at the science that makes it possible. Each school celebrated in its own way, creating school gardens, planting trees and otherwise beautifying school grounds.
School #5’s Tree Planting Ceremony, with help from the Oceanside Garden Club, honored former principal, Steve Kriss and Louisa Rugolo, the mom of a garden club member. The garden club donated a copper beech tree to replace one that had been destroyed several years ago. The rare and extraordinarily beautiful copper beech was Mr. Kriss’ favorite tree. Sixth graders, the last remaining class to have had Mr. Kriss as their principal, took part in the celebration while second graders read and sang about taking care of the earth. Current principal Diane Provvido led students in taking turns shoveling some soil into the planting hole. Mr. Kriss used a special shovel that had been purchased for the ground-breaking of School #5’s newest wing and has been kept in pristine condition for ceremonial use only.
With help from Nature Study Center coordinator, Ned Black, everyone at School #6 got their hands dirty on Earth Day,
planting flower bulbs, marigolds and seeds all around the school grounds. The day began with a whole school picture on the school grounds, followed by a variety of learning stations that students rotated through to focus on specific aspects of science and nature. At the “bubble station”, the children explored the characteristics of bubbles and what makes them form. Students also used magnifying glasses to investigate soil and made chalk shadows, with each group using different colored chalk to show how the location of shadows changes throughout the day in response to the earth’s rotation and relative position to the sun. Students also used binoculars to look at birds and wildlife and made venn diagrams to compare and contrast plants. Teachers and students also walked the track to highlight the natural benefits of walking versus driving.