Children’s School marks Earth Day 2012 with beach clean-up, campus projects


By Dave Schwab

At Kellogg Park, they discussed the observance’s significance.

“Earth Day is a very special day that everybody shouldn’t pollute the Earth on,” said Nika Sadr. “Earth Day should be every day.”

Lily Grunski agreed.“It helps the Earth,” she said.

Second-grader Luke Albert had this view of the day’s purpose: “It’s to pick up all the trash and not to make it polluted,” he said. “When you pollute, it makes the whole world like a dump.”

Cole Owenethholtz offered his thoughts. “Some people just don’t care about the environment,” he said. “People who do care should help other people who do care clean it up.”

It was “Green Day” all day Friday for all classes at The Children’s School where each grade did its part. Since the campus features six acres of garden, including edible plants, the students hit the dirt.

Their gardening project was illustrative of The Children’s School’s alternative approach to education, said Chris Bezsylko, assistant head of school. “Our philosophy uses students, the environment and the community,” he explained. “The school’s curriculum is a lot less rote memory, drill, and a lot more hands-on, experiential. We try to make connections to what the kids are interested in.”

Head of school Brian Oliphant joined the clean-up efforts, stating, “It’s important the kids are aware of the environment.”

This year marked the 42nd anniversary of what many consider the birth of the environmental movement. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans inaugurated the first Earth Day by taking to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.

Thousands of colleges organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.