Winter Street students spruce up school grounds for Earth Day

April 20, 2011|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Winter Street Elementary School Enrichment Teacher Rebecca Shaw, left, shows second-grader Kymberley Schwartz an earthworm she found during digging in the flower beds in front of the school on Wednesday.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Kasandra Green, a third-grader at Winter Street Elementary School in Hagerstown, did not mince words when talking about the importance of Earth Day and protecting the environment.

“If we don’t help the Earth it will become a big dump,” she said. “I want it to be pretty and not so ugly.”

Green, along with other students and faculty members, took part in Winter Street’s celebration of Earth Day Wednesday by planting flowers, weeding, and mulching around the school.

The school only had a half day, and students from each grade except prekindergarten went outside at one point to help work on the lawn.

Brian Orndorff, a pre-K teacher at Winter Street, organized the event. He said the goal was to help beautify the area.

“The community gives a little bit of sense to a feeling of having our school look beautiful,” he said. “We also want our kids to understand the importance of taking care of the Earth so we can have it for years to come.”

The school got lots of support from the community and local businesses, according to Orndorff, including a gift-card from Kmart to help buy necessary gardening tools.

Orndorff said that they used the tools to help update the yard around the school.

“We have totally revamped the landscaping of the school,” he said. “We tore out a lot of the dead stuff.”

Art teacher Julie Cantrel said that teaching about the environment is related to what the students are learning in the classroom.

“At Winter Street, we try to pay attention to what we can do to be Earth-friendly,” she said. “That’s why it’s so great to see the students here down on their knees and digging in the dirt.”
School administrators said they supported Orndorff’s ideas. Kris Pearl, an assistant principal, said teaching youngsters about the environment should be part of their education.

“These are kids who can save our world,” she said. “This is the generation that we have to help learn how to take care of the environment, and what better place to do that than school?”
Earth Day is observed on April 22, and April 17-23 is Earth Week in 2011.

Cantrel said observing Earth Day is important, but said she believed “every day should be Earth Day.”

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