Earth Day

Saturday is Earth Day. In connection with our Trash and Treasure theme, we discussed which of earth’s resources are valued, and how we can protect and conserve them. We read the book, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, and discussed what happened to the community as trees were cut down. We then discussed ways to help the environment and to conserve resources, and each student made a pledge to do one thing that will help the earth. Our pledges can be seen in the upstairs hallway. Finally, we put on rubber gloves and grabbed some trashbags and walked around the perimeter of the school to pick up litter.

The best part of this experience for me was not our discussion or the read-aloud or the trash pick-up. The best part was realizing all of the things we are already doing as a community (both at the school and at home) to help the earth. Students recognized that carpooling, walking, or taking transit to school emits less pollution. They also mentioned that planting trees (or in our case plants) helps with air quality. We noticed that we use cloth towels both in our bathrooms and in our classroom. We use reusable cups and water bottles for water. Students bring their lunches in reusable lunch bags and containers. We know to use both sides of a sheet of paper, and that art can be created from recycled materials. We recycle and we compost in the worm bin as much as possible. The list goes on. It feels good to know that these actions, among others, are part of the fabric of our community, and that the Quaker values of simplicity and stewardship ensure that our school will always be a place where people care about and think about the Earth and our environment.

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Melanie Berlin

is a classroom teacher on the K-2 team. Before moving to Chicago, Melanie lived in Philadelphia and worked for five years as lead kindergarten teacher at Mastery Charter Mann Elementary School. Previous to that, Melanie lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and taught at an independent school in Oakland, California. Melanie has her B.A. in psychology with a minor in urban education from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her teaching degree from San Francisco State University with a focus on social justice in education.

In her free time, Melanie loves playing ultimate Frisbee, drinking coffee, playing board games, and spending time with her husband and baby daughter.

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