written by Catherine Bates
Medfield Heights Elementary School held our sixth annual Green Thumb Day on April 23rd. In honor of Earth Day, the school sets aside a day to spend outside in our schoolyard working to get ready for the gardening season. This year, not only did students spend time in our school’s outdoor learning areas to celebrate Earth Day, but fifth graders planned and lead other activities throughout the school as well.
The fifth grade taught the Pre-K classes to make bird feeders out of pine cones, lard, and birdseed; led the kindergartners in painting bird houses, bat boxes, and butterfly boxes to be placed in our gardens; led the third grade in making boxes for bottles and can recycling in the classrooms; and helped the fourth graders write skits about being energy efficient. While all these activities were going on, students were also working in the garden with Rick Hobbs from Irvine Nature Center, one of Medfield’s most active partners.
The day began with Rick Hobbs instructing the Medfield Heights fifth and second graders on the proper way to plant shrubs and flowers and about the basic ideas behind our schoolyard habitat. These students spent the morning working in front of the school in the outdoor classroom, which is made up of a butterfly and bird garden, and spent the afternoon working in the back of the school instructing the other grades on planting and mulching.
Overall the students of Medfield worked beautifully together! I was so impressed with the students’ ability and excitement to work in teams while digging holes, working hard to get shrubs out of their pots and into the ground, and to spread around fresh mulch. There is no doubt Medfield’s awesome fifth graders lead by example! They not only planned activities for the school in teams, but they lead their younger peers with excitement and maturity, and of course Irvine Nature Center could not have been more helpful! Medfield is so lucky to have such a great partner!
Medfield just received their recertifictation as a Maryland Green School last week and continues to work to educate our students on the way their actions affect their school, their community and their planet. Green Thumb Day is just one example of the school’s continued efforts.