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Ossining Schools Continuing Earth Day Ideals

OSSINING, N.Y. – For the students in the Ossining School District, one day to remember Earth Day ideals is not enough.

Earth Day 2012 fell on April 22, but for the last few weeks students in the Ossining Union Free School District have been participating in dozens of various programs aimed at teaching green initiatives and Earth Day lessons that can be used year-round. On Monday, Claremont School invited dozens of area experts to teach students different techniques from making useful everyday items out of recycled materials to building terrariums. Likewise, Brookside Elementary School continued its annual Nature Week from April 23 to 27 that featured several Earth Day-themed programs culminating in a tree planting ceremony.

“Earth Day is not just one day, it’s every day,” said 7-year-old Paola Gonzales, a second-grader at Brookside. “It means don’t just recycle or do things one day. You can do it every day. If you make a mistake on a paper, use the back. Or instead of using plastic bags at the store, bring your own to the store and use that.”

Brookside Principal Ann Dealy said the students not only learned about steps they could take to reduce their impact, but also steps that students can use to add to their environment.

“The things we learn we can apply throughout the year,” Dealy said. “It was symbolic in planting the tree, because it’s not just about reducing, reusing and recycling but we also want to add more natural resources to increase and improve our environment.”

Fran Jacobson, Claremont Elementary School assistant principal, said each project was designed to teach students that they don’t have to be grown-ups to make real change.

“Mostly we wanted kids to feel empowered,” Jacobson said. “We really wanted to make them feel like they can make a change in their community. They are our future and it’s important for them to know that they can do it.”

The projects also focused on the school’s “Go Yellow, Go Green” initiative that promotes the use of school buses to save energy and minimize pollutants from vehicles, she said.

“Having so many cars going in and out of the school every day can create a lot of unnecessary pollutants,” Jacobson said. “So we’re trying to show the kids something they can do to save energy and go green.”

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