Getting students involved in helping the environment - East Valley Tribune: News

Getting students involved in helping the environment

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Posted: Monday, April 23, 2007 3:35 am | Updated: 5:32 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Trees, monkeys and flowers decorated the cafeteria at Scottsdale’s Laguna Elementary School last week as second-graders sang about the rain forests.

The annual show was scheduled to coincide with Earth Day, which was Sunday, said second-grade teacher Sandra Richardson.

Each song and skit contained facts about the rain forests and why they are important. Hopefully, students will take those messages home with them and get into the environmental spirit, Richardson said.

“They’re having fun while they’re learning,” she said.

Elementary schools weren’t the only ones getting into the Earth Day act.

At Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, students in the Animals, People,

Earth club are painting a huge mural of a tree on one of the school’s main buildings, said biology teacher Jen MacColl.

When students come to school today, they’ll see a completed tree and leaves around the building, each leaf featuring a suggestion of how to help the environment.

“If the kids read it, hopefully they’ll act on it,” MacColl said. “Sometimes (helping the environment) is a daunting task.”

Some of the tips painted on Chaparral’s building include:

• Recycle paper

• Turn off water when it’s

• Reuse water bottles not in use

• Car pool or ride your

• Have a timer on your bike home irrigation system

Getting kids interested

High school students don’t usually need encouragement to take notice of the environment — in fact, older children often get their parents interested in the subject, MacColl said.

“I have so many kids coming to me saying they’ve made their parents recycle,” she said.

Younger kids are a different story.

It’s important to introduce environmental issues early by modeling responsible behavior, MacColl said.

For instance, ride your bike and explain you’re trying to reduce emissions or turn off the faucet as you’re brushing your teeth, she said.

Reading books about the environment also can spark a child’s interest. MacColl suggests “The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest,” by Lynne Cherry.

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