Flower Hill School third graders in dual language program teacher Erika Sabogal’s class were fully mobilized in the run-up to this year’s Earth Day. The youngsters have been working since last September on a project that brought them into contact with all sorts of new concepts and ideas.
On the first day of school late last summer, Ms. Sabogal discussed recycling discarded bottles, returning them to obtain the nickel deposits back on each and sending the funds to the Arbor Day Foundation, which the teacher said “is well known for its humanitarian efforts to save the Earth. Students enthusiastically agreed to donate any monies from the bottles to save the rainforest.”
This marks Ms. Sabogal’s first year as a third grade teacher. Collecting recyclable bottles and using the deposits to support an organization committed to “inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees” had its genesis many months ago.
“I came up with the idea over the summer, after looking at our curriculum and thought this would be a great project that incorporates learning across the curriculum,” Ms. Sabogal said. “Students are getting a good sense of awareness about our environment by working as a classroom community and practicing good citizenship. Our literacy and social studies units incorporate both themes. Subsequently in math, we have been able to use our money counting skills to count real money using addition, division and multiplication to figure out how many bottles we have redeemed each month.”
The class collected, counted and redeemed 1,419 bottles by the end of March. “While this may not be a tremendous amount of money saved, every little bit helped and served as an invaluable lesson that everybody can make a difference,” Ms. Sabogal said.
The Flower Hill student-conservationists sat down as a class and penned a formal business letter to the Arbor Day Foundation when the group was ready to send in its donation. The youngsters learned they had helped save 17,750 square feet of the rainforest, their teacher said, making this year’s Earth Day an occasion with extra-special meaning.
Source: Huntington UFSD Office of Public Information