Dressed as a cleaning lady, Jacobs' character makes puppets from the items she collects in the course of her cleaning. A spray bottle with plastic fork arms becomes the main female puppet, Stormy, while her husband, Echo, has a body fashioned from a discarded corkscrew.
Handled sponges and dusters of different colors made a vegetable garden for the stories, with a cow, billy goat and bee made from detergent bottles and plastic film canisters. Blue plastic shopping bags and a juice container were the foundation for the good fairy puppet and small baby powder containers became babies.
The recycled puppets retold the stories with Jacobs' help, along with the added message to reuse and recycle.
Fourth-grader Elizabeth Whitmore was picked to act in one of the stories.
"I thought, 'Wow, this is my lucky day,' because I never got picked to go up there before," Elizabeth said. "It was cool with the puppet show and everything because they made it all interesting. It was awesome."
Not only did the performance tie in with Earth Day, but it worked well with the school's push to become a Green School. The plan is to submit an application next year, principal Sharon Palm said.
Palm said the school is working on professional development for the staff and on continuing to find ways to reduce the trash generated at the school, such as replacing throwaway utensils with reusable ones.
She said students are measuring the volume of trash, monitoring the temperature in the building, and recycling juice pouches and other materials.
"There's a lot going on," Palm said. "We're really trying to make a difference, learning to be better stewards of the Earth."
On Saturday, a special Earth Day/30th anniversary of Clear Spring Middle School and the Claude Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview will be held.
The middle school open house will be from 8 a.m. to noon. Clear Spring High School will host "Learning, Fun and Games!" from 9 a.m. to noon, with a plant sale, bake sale, "green car" display and more.
Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan will be on hand for the commemorative tree planting at the outdoor school at 10 a.m., with activities until 2 p.m.
Clear Spring Elementary School will sponsor "Vendors to help you Go Green" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., which will feature a student artwork display, recycled art, bicycle energy demonstrations and more.
"One person can make a difference," Palm said. "It's good to learn early."
The presentation was partially funded by the Maryland State Arts Council.
For more information on Kathleen Jacobs, go to www.kathleenjacobspuppets.com.