Lower School Celebrates Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, Ross Lower School held special activities promoting environmental protection and awareness all week long. The earth-friendly festivities included a special assembly, beach cleanups, recycling projects, and the first campus plantings of the season.

Pre-K has been immersed in their "Earth Month" unit for the last few weeks. They studied the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle), created art out of "garbage," and learned the importance of thinking about how to reuse waste in order to reduce the amount of garbage in local landfills. As a culminating piece to this unit, they hosted an assembly in the Multi-Purpose Room on April 19, where they sang “What a Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong, and even signed the lyrics while they were singing. In addition, they drew pictures that were displayed during the performance.

This week, students in K–5 took field trips to Long Beach in Sag Harbor and Sagg Main Beach in East Hampton, where they discussed water quality and the impacts from the coastal storms this past year. Students picked up any storm surge debris that could be harmful to marine life or other organisms in the beach area, including tables, an irrigation system, and nets. They cleaned a half-mile of the bay coastline and a quarter mile of ocean coastline. Back on campus, the students studied animals from the Peconic Estuary in the science lab and planted bulbs, seeds, and plants outdoors. Pre-nursery also got their hands dirty planting string beans in class. Eventually, the seedlings will be transferred to the outdoor garden.

Meanwhile, first grade is in the midst of their unit on Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling. They have been discovering all the places their trash can end up after it goes in the garbage and have been learning how to turn trash into treasures: in class, they are making a large robot out of items rescued from the landfill. Science support Stacy Myers also had them design clothes out of recyclables, and language teacher Tiffany Best helped her class make new paper by recycling old paper. Third graders up-cycled erstwhile garbage by recycling newspapers into beads. First, they shredded the paper and placed it into boiling water. Once it became pulp, they shaped it into beads; eventually, these beads will be turned into jewelry. In June, the class will host a jewelry sale and donate the funds to an organization of the students’ choice.