For students at Rockdale Academy, Earth Day (recognized annually on April 22) is an important day. It represents the culmination of lessons and activities around the school’s Vision 2020 focus of Global Conservation.
Since Earth Day 2018 fell on a Sunday, students welcomed community partners and friends of Rockdale Academy to the school on Friday, April 20, to showcase the many ways students engaged with concepts around global conservation throughout the school year. About 50 community partners convened at the school for lunch and a brief presentation from Rockdale Academy Principal Belinda Tubbs-Wallace and a select group of students about the school’s motto, “Healthy me, healthy world.”
“Here at Rockdale, global conservation starts with understanding how we can take care of ourselves,” said Wallace. “When we understand how we can best take care of ourselves, we can best take care of the earth.”
Wallace then encouraged students, ranging from fourth- to sixth-grade, to share with the group what “healthy me, healthy world” meant to them and the different activities they did with their classmates around global conservation. Some activities students shared included:
- Picking up two thousand pounds of trash from the Ohio River (Read more)
- Hosting a water bottle drive to help victims of Hurricane Harvey
- Planting trees around the neighborhood
- Picking up trash around the neighborhood
- Filling up their own water bottles every other day to cut down on the use of plastic water bottles
Community partners and guests were then divided into groups for students to lead through the school to tour classrooms. Partners could also visit with each other at the partner booths set up in the cafeteria.
“You all have a connection to Rockdale; we want to provide the opportunity for you all to network so you have connections to each other as well,” said Wallace.
In classrooms, students of all grade levels demonstrated different activities or lessons around global conservation. Sixth-grade students shared information about their LINK (district wide social studies project) focus on economics and how buying, selling, and trading resources impact the environment. One third-grade classroom decorated light switch plates for creative reminders to conserve energy by turning off lights before leaving a room. Another third-grade classroom played “BINGO!” with science and nature terms. A small group of students conducted an experiment and brainstormed how to separate oil and water when our water supply is polluted by oil.
Global Conservation Day concluded with an all-school assembly featuring the tumbling team, dance team, and challenges like a “roller derby” relay, free-throw competition and more, with community partners competing as teams. Participating partners included:
- Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation (ACDC)
- The Greater Cincinnati Urban League
- Trader Joe’s
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC)
- Xavier University
- Freestore Foodbank
- Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
- Defeat the Streets
Global conservation should be considered every day, not just on Earth Day. Here are some things you can do year-round to take better care of yourself and the earth:
- Participate in your neighborhood’s Healthy Harvest Mobile Market, presented by TriHealth, Impact 100 and the Freestore Foodbank.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle! Learn about what the City of Cincinnati accepts for recycling and double-check your pickup schedule.
- Spend time outside. A walk around the neighborhood or spending an afternoon in one of Cincinnati’s beautiful parks is a great way to reconnect with nature and learn more about Cincinnati’s wild plants and animals. While you’re at it, grab a plastic bag on your walk around the neighborhood to pick up any trash you may see.
- Stay informed. You can always rent books from your local library branch or attend events to grow your knowledge about the earth and how humans can conserve nature.
Keep up with Rockdale Academy and the great things they are doing to help conserve the environment through their Vision 2020 curriculum focus at rockdaleacademy.cps-k12.org.