Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) will celebrate Earth Day 2010 with a variety of educational and fun activities. Earth Day is a global holiday that started in 1970 to inspire people to protect the environment.
All schools will participate in the city's Earth Day event on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4800 Ben Brenman Park Dr. The schools are actively involved with green initiatives and many have ongoing efforts throughout the year. Media coverage is welcome, and may be arranged by contacting participating schools or the ACPS Department of Communications. For more information visit: http://alexearthday.org.
The following ACPS activities, listed by school, are scheduled around Earth Day.
T.C. Williams High School
3330 King Street, Alexandria, 703-824-6800
Environmental Steward: Patrick Earle
T.C. has an organic vegetable garden plot at the Chinquapin Park Community Garden. The school is in its third year of composting kitchen scraps from the cafeteria and culinary arts class using a three-bin composting system in the garden. The students have donated food to an Alexandria Senior Center, the T.C. cafeteria, and the Culinary Arts Program. The Garden Club raised funds with a plant sale. The T.C. Environmental Club is working on purchasing and installing seven-day digital outlet timers on outlets that charge laptop batteries. Students can use a device called a "Kill-a-Watt" meter that will determine how much electricity is used and wasted each day when batteries are fully charged. The seven-day timers will turn off the 170 battery carts after school and on weekends to save energy. They timers will turn the batteries back on in the middle of the night so they're fully charged by the morning. Students calculated that the timers could save the school an estimated $7,000 on electricity costs within the first year.
The school is also on its second year of the Invasive Species Removal Project along a nature trail in Chinquapin Park. The goal is to restore the habitat to its original state. Ecology students have been removing English Ivy and other exotic invasive species. Students conduct ongoing biodiversity monitoring of the site to compare restored and non-restored areas of the park. T.C. has built partnerships with the City of Alexandria, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust and Arlington Regional Master Naturalists to support this effort.
T.C. has an Invasive Species Removal Event planned on Earth Day, April 22, from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. Volunteers will meet at the Nature Trail starting along King Street in front of the Chinquapin Recreation Center, with parking available along the circle. Gloves and long-sleeved shirts are recommended. Volunteers under 18 must have parental permission. Contact for more information.
T.C. Williams High School Minnie Howard Campus
3801 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, 703-824-6750
Minnie Howard will have a PowerPoint presentation and possibly a science board with pictures for the school's table at the city's Earth Day event.
Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center
200 S Whiting St, Alexandria, VA 22304
Environmental Steward: Mary Chukwu
NVJDHS's plans for Earth Day are to have a Jeopardy-style game show with two contestants representing each living unit. The competition will be held in the school assembly. Teachers are teaching students on various categories such as resource use, sustainability and energy reduction, which will be covered in the competition. Students are doing research and creating posters with environmental themes for Earth Day. The school is recycling and growing plants in its greenhouse.
Francis C. Hammond Middle School Campus
4646 Seminary Road, Alexandria, 703-461-4100
Environmental Steward: Leslie Marcus
Students are creating mini composting, terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems using soda bottles with soil, plants, snails, red worms and other things for Earth Day. Students are also making crafts of bugs, signs, cars and more from recycled materials such as paper towel rolls and egg cartons. The students' cars may race each other down a ramp, which will assist in the physics unit. Most of the students' creations will be on display at the fair. Classrooms are recycling and composting in the cafeteria is coming soon. The Students were encouraged to participate in watershed clean-up on April 10.
Nancy Bort's Hammond I honors science classes have begun work on their Earth Force project for 2010, involving environmental activities to help preserve our community watershed. One class is working on setting up a website to educate the public about watersheds and what they can do as individuals to protect them. They plan to incorporate interactive games and links to environmental sites. Another class is working on planting extra trees around the school, especially in the area of the drainage ditch from the street to help filter the water before it moves along into Holmes Run and then on to the Potomac. They are contacting local businesses that sell trees to see if they can get trees donated for this purpose. They also plan to advertise this on the website being constructed by their fellow science classmates.
Hammond 3 Teachers Mr. Abbatiello Ms. Shirey are having their students' Earth Day activities set up in the library on April 30. Other science teachers from all three schools at Hammond may also volunteer their projects to be displayed. Each student group had a topic to research and they had to find a way to inform the public about their topic using brochures, pamphlets, posters, PowerPoints, comic strips and other media. The student projects will be reviewed, critiqued and scored by fellow students throughout the day. On April 22, the actual day of earth day, students will create a public service announcement relating to recycling, conserving and making the planet a better place by using chalk drawing on the sidewalks.
George Washington Middle School
1005 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, 703-706-4500
Environmental Steward: Anne Provencher
Earth Day-related highlights include the school's recycling and composting efforts, photographs of the activities the environmental PACE class is doing and how a teacher and her science students are attempting to save the Winkler Botanical Preserve from construction plans.
John Adams Elementary School
5651 Rayburn Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22311
Environmental Steward: Gary King
John Adams students and staff members attended the Alexandria City Council's Earth Day Proclamation during a recent meeting.
Charles Barrett Elementary School
1115 Martha Custis Dr., Alexandria, 703-824-6960
Environmental Steward: Kristine Abbe
The school won second place in the city's Plastic Bag Recycling Competition and received $1,000 to use toward an environmental project at the school. Students of all ages are composting and recycling plastics and other materials in the cafeteria. Kristine Abbe addressed the PTA on April 5 with information promoting Earth Day. The after-school program called "Barrett's Environmental Task Force," active through April 23, has students engaging in weekly themed recycling efforts such as "trash to treasure" and "computer education." The students will present their accomplishments and efforts on the last week with photos, posters and banners. They may also design their own eco-friendly reusable bags. Students are hoping to have a field trip to Recycled Green Industries but funding is needed. Contact to support the field trip or for more information.
First-grade students will be growing a variety of plants using the scientific method. They will be using Photostory to track and document their results. The classes will also be studying ways to conserve natural resources and create projects to share their knowledge with other students.
Patrick Henry Elementary School
4643 Taney Avenue, Alexandria, 703-461-4170
Environmental Steward: Claire Knibbs
All students will be participating in an effort to clean up the school environment where needed and assigned. The school will be planting, beautifying and cleaning during the Arbor Day festivities. Several classrooms are involved in Dominion Project Plant It, a program that provides hands-on experiences for students in learning about the values of trees and other conservation topics. Students are given trees to plant as part of the project. Some classrooms are creating products from their own recycled materials. Others are creating watershed models to show the effects people have on the environment. There will be valuable speakers from the community, pictures and products after the completion of the projects for the Earth Day festival. Claire Knibbs also created a newsletter called the "Green Times," featuring green information for the school.
1501 Cameron Street, Alexandria, 703-706-4400
Environmental Steward: M. Scott Berkowitz
The students are continuing their year-round recycling efforts. The school has a student-run paper, plastic and glass recycling program. There is also a plastic bag collection program.
Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy
530 S. St. Asaph Street, Alexandria, 703-706-4430
Environmental Steward: Mary (Christa) Kelleher
The school won first place in the Plastic Bag Recycling Competition, receiving a TREX bench and $1,500 to use toward an environmental project. They will also have Robbie the Squirrel talk about single-stream recycling. Students will view a DVD on the process of recycling and where it goes. They will also empty their recycling bins into the truck. The school has plans to plant new trees, extend the garden and crop planting area and build its own compost site. The school also may get rain barrels.
The entire school is participating in a month's worth of activities built around the theme "It's All Good: Recycle, Reduce & Reuse." The objective is to have all students, teachers and staff think creatively about how to recycle, reduce or reuse the resources at Lyles-Crouch. Students are participating in a "Best Ideas to Make LCTA Greener" contest in which each student will be asked to submit his or her best idea of how to recycle, reduce or reuse resources at LCTA. The winners will get small "green"-oriented prizes.
Students also are reaching out to private schools in Alexandria to ask what their best "green" ideas are. April also is Battery Collection Month at the school. Classes also brainstormed to come up new ideas for improving the school's recycling, reusing and reducing efforts; the winning class will have the school's Earth Day observance named in its honor.
Douglas MacArthur Elementary School
1101 Janneys Lane, Alexandria, 703-461-4190
Environmental Steward: Jennifer Le Si
The school won third place in the Plastic Bag Recycling Competition and received $500 to use toward an environmental project at the school. The school's April newsletter promoted Earth Day and encouraged families to come celebrate. The fifth-grade community service group called the Recycling All-Stars will decorate and use canvas bags to save plastic bags. The school will also announce a daily "earth-friendly" tip on their MAC-TV, a student-produced media production, throughout April. The school has recycling bins in each classroom, the teacher's lounge, the copier rooms and hallways which are collected every Friday by the Recycling All-Stars. Students also are composting in the cafeteria and tending to their garden. Teachers are also encouraged to print on both sides of paper.
George Mason Elementary School
2601 Cameron Mills Road, Alexandria, 703-706-4470
George Mason students have been actively recycling for many years, but this year they're recycling more than ever! Students manage their classroom recycling bins by emptying them on a daily basis and participating in "recycling relays" to help reinforce learning. Students compost in the cafeteria by separating their food and paper from their trash. Students have learned about composting through classroom guidance games and hands-on science lessons.
In the warmer months, George Mason students take part in "Walking Wednesdays" by walking or biking to and from school instead of coming by car. Students who participate are entered to win prizes each week. This year, a walking club will give bus riders a chance to take part in the fun.
During the Alexandria Earth Day event, the George Mason booth will feature several fun activities to teach about recycling and composting, including a composting game with play food, a cartoon writing activity and a demonstration on how to make your own compost bin!
Matthew Maury Elementary School
600 Russell Road, Alexandria, 703-706-4440
Environmental Steward: Tiffany James
Maury's Earth Day booth at the city's Earth Day event will feature photos and posters of their green efforts, a recycling game and an environmental wheel with prizes. Students will also be selling "lunch skins," re-useable bags to replace plastic bags. A Classroom Energy Star Contest consists of weekly classroom inspections of recycling efforts and efficient energy usage of lights and computers. Recycling is done in all classrooms and workrooms. Students are composting in the cafeteria. Compost Awareness Week is dedicated to educating and helping students compost correctly. There is also a Compost Art Contest, where winners' work is displayed for the school.
After school, the Environmental Club students participate in environmentally friendly art projects, visits to nature centers and garden activities. Green Tree Tips, or environmentally friendly tips, are provided by students and parents on the announcements and bulletin boards. The school has a "green" newsletter called the Green Corner for events and announcements. Maury also initiates bike- or walk-to-school rallies.
Mount Vernon Community School
2601 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, 703-706-4460
Environmental Steward: Justine Hudec
Mount Vernon will focus on the life cycles of plants and butterflies for Earth Day. Second-grade students are using the greenhouse to plant various plants such as marigolds, peas, beans and tomatoes. They are also raising caterpillars and creating butterfly habitats. The butterflies will eventually be set free in the greenhouse. The after-school Green Team is improving the recycling efforts of each classroom and creating recycling bins out of recycled boxes for teachers. The school is composting milk cartons but plans to compost everything, some of which could be used for the garden compost.
Jane Richardson's Habits of Mind Community Service Club hosted a visit from Jesse Maines, Water Quality Compliance Specialist with T&ES, Office of Environmental Qualtity, City of Alexandria. Mr. Maines showed the after-school club a 3-D example of water samples and the water purifying system. He explained to the children the importance of clean water and the impacts of water issues in the Four Mile Run area in the students' neighborhoods, etc.
James K. Polk Elementary School
435 Ferdinand Day Drive, Alexandria, 703-461-4180
Environmental Stewards: Stephen Neeley and John Curran
Students are composting, recycling and growing a garden. They have also sent a letter of concern to the "Save the Winkler Campaign."
Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School
435 Ferdinand Day Dr., Alexandria, 703-933-6300
Environmental Steward: Anastasia (Stacey) Richman
Tucker has daily composting in the cafeteria and recycles all materials accepted by the City of Alexandria. There is also a campaign to turn off lights and computers when not in use. Students collect plastic bags and other plastic film for the TREX contest held by the city. Old cell phones and ink cartridges are collected for recycling, too. The science labs include daily education on the purpose of their green efforts. Tucker's Earth Day booth will highlight the school's green initiatives with displays on composting and will have a fun recycling game to test participants' recycling knowledge. Tucker also has an educational composting video.
© 2012 Alexandria City Public Schools, 2000 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, Virginia 22311
Information: 703.824.6600 | TDD: 703.824.6666 | Dr. Morton Sherman, Superintendent