Rising Sun Middle holds Earth celebration
— Rising Sun Middle School got a jumpstart on Earth Day on Thursday afternoon with an
environmental celebration featuring a giant Earth balloon.
The Delaware Children’s Museum’s 19-foot inflatable Earth balloon was the main attraction at the after-school event as groups of students and community members shed their shoes to walk inside the giant globe and learn about world geography and geology.
“I really liked
it,” said Shaun Finnegan, a sixth grader at RSMS. “You can see all the countries and the world inside.”
Local organizations including NorthBay Adventure Camp, Cecil Soil Conservation District, Cecil County Public Schools, Maryland Park Service, the Octoraro Watershed Association and the Cecil County Department of Public Works also had tables set up around the gym to give community members information about their programs and work.
The event was organized by the middle school’s environmentally conscious “green team” and although the green team does something for Earth Day every year, this is the first year the event has taken place after school, said Anne Polakovic, a media specialist who leads the green team along with Gifted and Talented teacher Amy Hash.
“We’re teaching the kids to be good stewards and have good habits. We really want it be a family habit,” Polakovic said.
The middle school was named a green school in 2012 and recently applied for reaccreditation, Polakovic said. The school hopes to find out whether it is reaccredited sometime in the next few weeks, she added.
In the meantime, the green team is focusing on its current projects, including a $5,000 grant it received from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to install a rain garden in the courtyard, a project Polakovic hopes to start this spring. Other than the rain garden, the green team also runs the in-school recycling program and holds other activities such as monarch butterfly tagging at the Woodlawn Nature Preserve, she added.
Seventh graders Aiden and Taylor House are members of the school’s green team as well as Boy Scout Troop 143, which will partner with the school to work on the rain garden. Both have been on the green team since sixth grade and said they enjoy doing environmental activities, with the butterfly tagging and a project to clean out the school flower beds being two favorites.
“I think it’s very educational and it’s good for people to know about the Earth and why it’s important to preserve it,” Taylor said.
Getting students to understand how their actions affect the Earth is what the green team is all about and Polakovic said she’s been encouraged by the students’ enthusiasm.
“I think education helps the next generation coming up to be more mindful,” she said.
The Delaware Children’s Museum’s Earth balloon was set up in the Rising Sun Middle School gym on Thursday afternoon.
Karyn Bush of the Delaware Children’s Museum talks to students and community members about geography inside the museum’s 19-foot-tall Earth balloon.