Roosevelt Performs Play on Eco-Friendly Lessons for Earth Day
It’s not every day that Roosevelt Elementary School staff members dress as polar bears, Mother Nature and harmful carbon and methane gases, but in the name of saving the Earth, that’s exactly what they did. The costumes were donned for the 9th Annual Cool the Earth assembly in celebration of Earth Day, which teaches children about climate change and how to protect the planet.
Cool the Earth is a grassroots school-to-home program that engages students in the issues of climate change by motivating them and their families to take actions to reduce their carbon footprints. One of the ways the organization does this is by providing schools with the script to a short play that educates youngsters in a fun and entertaining way. Roosevelt is one of 170 elementary and middle schools that runs the program. Through such efforts, Cool the Earth has kept more than 100 million pounds of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere.
The program was brought to Roosevelt by science and technology teacher Ms. Regina D’Orio who lined up a special cast consisting of Library Media Specialist Ms. Roseann Davidson as Mama Polar Bear; Principal Ms. Tami McElwee as Koda, the Polar Bear Cub; ENL teacher Ms. Penny Koinis as the Mother Earth and Ms. D’Orio, as Mother Nature. Second-grade teacher Mr. Brian Agostini entertained youngsters as the sneaky villain, Mr. Carbon, who was joined by his evil sister Ms. Methane, played by Ms. Janna Ostroff, K-12 Supervisor for Science and Technology Instruction. A background mural of polar bears was created by art teacher Ms. Stephanie Miley and a fun soundtrack was provided by Roosevelt music teacher, Ms. Brenda Murphy.
The assembly opened with Mama and Koda Polar Bear swimming, trying to find their icy home, but realize that their habitat is melting. They ask Earth for help only to find that she is covered in blankets and too warm to make more ice for them.
It gets worse when Mr. Carbon pops out and tells the students that humans are creating carbon every time they burn coal or gas. Mother Nature finally calms everyone down by telling them about ways that humans can help to stop creating carbon, including using renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. The polar bears embark on a hunt to find “windy” and “sunny” by enlisting the help of teachers in the audience.
“The students were so engaged; they were laughing with delight and booing Mr. Carbon and Ms. Methane while cheering for the polar bears, Mother Earth and Mother Nature,” Ms. D’Orio said. “I am so excited about the learning that happens as a result of this assembly and the four-week program in which students and their families learn how to decrease their carbon footprint and take care of our planet.”
Students were given coupon books with earth-saving actions that they can do with their families. They learned that by pledging to do at least five actions in the coupon book, they and their families can help save the polar bear and cool the earth. Some of the actions included combining errands, recycling paper and shopping with cloth bags.
“By using the coupon book, students learn responsibility, citizenship and caring for our Earth by doing simple things like turning off the water when they brush their teeth.” Ms. D’Orio said. “They are learning that their actions really can help protect our planet!"
From left are Roosevelt Principal Ms. Tami McElwee, Library Media Specialist Ms. Roseann Davidson, science and technology teacher Ms. Regina D’Orio, second-grade teacher Mr. Brian Agostini, K-12 Supervisor for Science and Technology Education Ms. Janna Ostroff, ENL teacher Ms. Penny Koinis and music teacher Ms. Brenda Murphy.
Mama Bear and Mother Nature with her children, Windy and Sunny. They represent clean solar and wind power.
Koda watches Sunny and Windy but then loses them!
Ms. Methane and Mr. Carbon are the bad gases that threaten the planet.
Students help Mama Polar Bear find Windy and Sunny.
Koda finds Windy and Sunny with the help of students.