Earth Day causes celebrated in South Shore classrooms
Today is Earth Day.
And while many Lake Tahoe residents probably didn’t realize – or forgot – that Earth Day is April 22, the students at South Shore schools know about it.
They learn about Earth Day; they learn from Earth Day.
Earth Day – a nationwide event which began in 1970 – is an opportunity for teachers and students to discuss environmental science and the health of the planet. In a place like Lake Tahoe, where environmental issues are paramount, Earth Day also provides an opportunity to learn about local issues.
Linda Martin, a third-grade teacher at Tahoe Valley Elementary School, uses Earth Day as the focus of a three- to four-week unit on environmental issues.
“We learn everything about the Earth and how we can save it, how to conserve water, how to buy recycled products,” Martin said.
The climax of the unit is a play the children are performing today before all the school’s students and their parents.
“I do this every year, and it’s just the greatest message to give the whole school about the world and how to save it,” Martin said. “It’s just a really gratifying thing to do for Earth Day.”
Students at the Lake Tahoe Community College also are putting on an event. Held from noon to 2 p.m., it is open to the public.
“We’re just doing a little celebration in the commons at the college. We’ll have tables set up from various organizations,” said Leslie Ames, faculty advisor for the Lake Tahoe Community College Environmental Club. “The idea is just to bring up awareness of the Earth and the environment.”
Hosted by the 15-member club, the event will provide information from the California Tahoe Conservancy, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, League to Save Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada Alliance, South Tahoe Refuse and South Tahoe Public Utility District.
This is the second year since the formation of the club. It focuses on a recycling program on campus, and this is the first year for the Earth Day celebration. The club plans to make it an annual event.
Another example of Earth Day awareness are the students in Jamie Greenough’s class at South Tahoe High School. With the help of the U.S. Forest Service, Alpine Sierra Coffee and Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, more than 50 high school students are learning from a project called “Know Your Wild Neighbors,” where students learn about the endangered and rare animals in the basin.
However, the learning shouldn’t be limited to them. Part of the project includes having the high school students teach children at the middle school. The younger students then are going to make coloring books for elementary school students.
“It’s amazing,” said Stefanie Azevedo, a sophomore project leader at the high school. “It’s just great.”
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