Vina elementary observes Earth Day

For Vina third through sixth graders, Earth Day – observed officially April 22 – wasn’t just a theoretical concept. It was a day they spent being kind to the planet in practical, hands-on ways.

“We picked up garbage in the field,” explained third grader Briauna Welch.

“We don’t want to the school to be trashy and ugly, so we have to clean it up so grass can grow,” third grader Anna Kate Burks added.

Students across the four grades pitched in to clear rubbish from around the outside of the school in a project spearheaded by science teachers Leigh Burks and Jamie Payne.

“We got three people to carry around garbage bags, and then everyone else came in and started picking up all the garbage,” fifth grader Autumn Chandler said. “I thought there would be a lot, but I didn’t know there would be so much.

“It’s important to keep all the garbage off the ground so all the animals won’t start eating the garbage and so the grass can grow,” she added.

“We’ve talked about doing (a cleanup for Earth Day) for a couple of years, but it usually sneaks up on us,” Payne said. In addition to sharing a message of an eco-friendly life, the teachers were able to impress upon their students principles like respect and a sense of pride. “We study the solar system in third grade, but we need to also focus on our Earth and how we take care of it,” Burks added.

Students also got artistic by recycling newspapers into people creations – “so we wouldn’t have to just throw it away and waste it,” Briauna said.

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