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School marks Earth Day with environmental education

Madison Mathews • Apr 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Playing with worms might not be a normal school subject, but it’s a science lesson a group of South Side Elementary students won’t forget.

“It was messy and smelly,” first-grader Greta Lane said.

Handling the creepy crawlers wasn’t just for fun; the students in Monica Hart’s first-grade class were learning valuable lessons about the importance of composting and decomposition.

“If worms were not alive, it would really stink,” fellow first-grader Kevin Smith said.

“And if we didn’t have it, the trash would pile up and pile up until it decomposes by itself and it would smell really bad,” Lane quickly added.

Hart’s students were able to place the worms and other items in soil in order to see which soil would be better.

Those were just a few of the activities Hart’s class took part in as part of South Side’s week-long observance of Earth Day.

For the last several years, South Side has celebrated Earth Day with a week of classroom activities that culminates with a parade around the school.

“We just want to raise the students’ awareness about the importance of taking care of Earth,” Principal Amy Stover said.

Classroom activities ranged from picking up litter to learning about the benefits of recycling and saving endangered animals.

While the week-long Earth Day celebration is over, South Side practices what it preaches year-round with assistance from the school’s “Green Team.”

“What they do every week is they go out and pick up trash, they take all of the recycling bins to the curb to be recycled, they put up signs around the school, so we really have the emphasis all year,” Stover said.

The parade and activities scheduled throughout the week are fun for students, but they are also ways to emphasize the importance of being environmentally aware.

“They’re the citizens of tomorrow. It’s important for them as adults age out and they grow up that they be conscious of taking care of the environment, so that’s why we do it,” she said.

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