Student leaders inspire care for the earth
“I am just a kid. What can I do to save the earth?
That was one of the questions posed by a member of Increase Miller’s Green Team at the school’s recent Sustainability Assembly. Turns out, children can do quite a lot! That was the empowering message that the Green Team had for the entire Increase Miller community.
The assembly was as much about encouraging others to care for the earth as it was about student leadership. The Green Team, led by teachers Lauri Griffin, Jane Emig and Lisa Burroughs, took the stage and spoke from the heart about what each student, class and family could do to protect the environment.
The IMES Green Team is Growing by Leaps and Bounds
made from a recycled t-shirt
The club members showed repurposed items they had made at home including a t-shirt bag, picture frame, purse, flower container and pencil cup, as well as art made from recyclables by grades 3 - 5 with art teacher Julia Zaremba.
The Green Team asked their fellow students to make a promise to the earth and to each other: I will use less resources. They suggested that children and their families reduce their plastic use, recycle always and walk and bike rather than drive whenever possible.
Planting trees for a green future
Another action they suggested to students was to plant a tree. It turns out that was the perfect segue to the next guest in the Sustainability Assembly—Increase Miller Elementary parent Michael Almstead, whose family is in the business of caring for trees.
Almstead shared his love of trees with the students. Together they came up with over a dozen ways that trees benefit the earth, including filtering the air with their leaves, cooling the earth with their shade, preventing erosion with their roots, and providing homes for animals in their branches.
The professional arborist had a surprise—he brought a small spruce tree for each student to bring home and plant! He also donated a mature linden tree to the school. He and his crew had done the heavy work earlier that morning, planting the tree near the school playground where it will provide much-needed shade to students during recess. The fifth graders helped with the finishing touches after the assembly.
Making changes, together
One of the students asked when the new tree would be as big as another one nearby. “In fifty or sixty years,” said Almstead. “You plant trees for your children and grandchildren.”
Thank you,” Assistant Principal Dr. Michael Weschler said to the Green Team at the close of the assembly. “I really do think you will save the earth.”