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West Patent Elementary Celebrates Earth Day

students learn about the school's beehivesAt West Patent Elementary School, Earth Day is a big deal. It has become a day that the entire school community looks forward to.

“One of our foundational goals at West Patent is to provide experiential learning opportunities for our students,” said West Patent Principal Judy Brewster. “Learning about the outdoors, plant and animal life and the environment has been at the forefront of all we do. Earth Day has become a significant celebratory day for our school and, this year, we were able to provide activities, outdoor workshops, guest speakers and community volunteers to engage our students in learning about our earth.”

Throughout the day, the school was bustling with activity. Students were planting seeds, pulling weeds, making nature-inspired art, learning about the school’s beehives, acting out the different jobs of bees and so much more.

At one point, a group of fourth graders was spread out outside, inspecting nature closely.

“We have paint cards and we’re trying to find objects in nature that match the color,” explained Jack Maduras. He noted that they had found pink prickers and blue moss that were pretty close matches.

Students had clipboards so that they could draw what they observed. They also noted the ways different parts of nature related to each other.

“How does this piece of bark with the algae on it connect with its surroundings?” asked teacher Anne Olivieri. “How many connections can you make to the environment?”

Students really enjoyed getting outside and studying the school’s grounds.

“It’s so fun because we get to explore nature in the back of our school,” Preston Porcelli said.

Inside, students who had art with Eleana Sipowicz worked with recycled materials. They decorated pieces of egg cartons to create what will become a spring garden mural.

Kindergartners and first graders listened to a book about bees before using props to dress up and act out the different jobs bees have in their hives. There was a queen, nurse bees, cleaners and more. Students took their jobs very seriously. A guard bee let everyone know he sniffed the pollen collectors to make sure they could come into the hive.

The day ended with a schoolwide assembly and a special guest speaker, Barry Rosenthal, who shared his recycled artwork and photography.

“The hope is that these fun and unique experiences each year make a lasting impression on our students and foster a lifelong love of the earth and the outdoors,” Brewster said.

students work on a recycled garden mural