Every year on April 22, millions of people in thousands of cities in about 192 countries around the world observe Earth Day. Many environmental agencies, faith-based organizations, schools, charities, families, and individuals have week-long activities that focus on raising awareness about environmental issues and reminding us about our roles and responsibilities in caring for and protecting Mother Earth, our home.
How did Earth Day come about? The seed of Earth Day was planted in 1969 by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. It sprouted on April 22, 1970 when a grassroot demonstration took place to petition the government to put environmental issues on the political agenda. Today, over 40 years later Earth Day has grown and blossomed tremendously, but the messages to care for and protect our Earth still need to go out. I’d like to share with you how a school in Miami, Florida is sending out those messages.
For several years now, the students at Dante B. Fascell Elementary School collaborate with their local grocery store, Publix Supermarket at Lago Mar for an Earth Day project. Teachers show their commitment to molding caring, compassionate children for the Earth by collecting hundreds of grocery bags from Publix for their students to decorate with Earth Day messages and drawings. The store uses the Earth Day bags to send home customers’ groceries.
The students from Pre-K to 5th grade take pride in decorating their bags and writing their messages. Some students in the bilingual program wrote their messages in Spanish.
- The grocery bag project offers students a prime opportunity to discuss their roles and responsibilities in caring for the Earth. Many of them, along with their parents accompany the teachers to deliver the bags to the supermarket. Hats off to the students at Dante B. Fascell Elementary School for thinking globally and acting locally.