Roosevelt Kicks Off Eco-Friendly Program for Earth Day
The cast of Roosevelt Elementary School’s “Cool the Earth” assembly, from left are music teacher Ms. Brenda Murphy, Library Media Specialist Ms. Roseann Davidson, Roosevelt Principal Ms. Tami McElwee, K-12 Supervisor for Science and Technology for Instruction Ms. Janna Ostroff, second-grade teacher Mr. Brian Agostini, literacy coach Ms. Michele Taube, ENL teacher Ms. Kimberly Kaufman, science and technology teacher Ms. Regina D’Orio and ENL teacher Ms. Penny Koinis.
In celebration of Earth Day, Roosevelt Elementary School presented its 10th Annual Cool the Earth assembly to teach students what they can do to protect the land, air, water and animals of the earth.
Roosevelt educators portrayed a cast of characters, including polar bears in the arctic, sea turtles in the tropics, Mother Nature, Mother Earth, and harmful carbon and methane gases to perform a charming, yet informative play that illustrated how various human habits affect the planet and the steps students can take to protect precious resources and animals. Such steps include turning off lights and electronic devices, using cloth shopping bags or turning the water off when brushing your teeth.
Roosevelt science and technology teacher Ms. Regina D’Orio introduced the Cool the Earth program to the school 10 years ago and has aligned it to the Next Generation Science Standards to include many issues facing our planet and ways families can help protect it.
Ms. D’Orio lined up a special cast for the Cool the Earth assembly, consisting of Library Media Specialist Ms. Roseann Davidson as Mama Polar Bear, Principal Ms. Tami McElwee as Koda, the Polar Bear Cub; English as a New Language (ENL) teacher Ms. Penny Koinis as Mother Earth and Ms. D’Orio as Mother Nature. Literacy coach Ms. Michele Taube and ENL teacher Ms. Kimberly Kaufman were puppeteers for the sea turtle puppets, a new addition to the storyline this year. Second-grade teacher Mr. Brian Agostini entertained youngsters as the sneaky villain, Mr. Carbon, and his evil sister, Ms. Methane, played by Ms. Janna Ostroff, K-12 Supervisor for Science and Technology for Instruction, was right behind him. To set the stage, art teacher Ms. Stephanie Miley created a polar bear mural and art teacher Ms. Kristin Johnson designed a coral reef for the sea turtles. Roosevelt music teacher Ms. Brenda Murphy provided a fun soundtrack.
The assembly opened with Mama Polar Bear and Koda trying to swim home after a day of hunting, but they have trouble finding their home and soon realize that their habitat is melting. They ask Mother Earth for help only to find that she is too warm to make more icebergs for them. Mama Polar Bear and Koda wondered if other animals were having habitat problems too, so they called their friend Sammy the Sea Turtle who told them that his ocean habitat has plastic floating in it and it is causing problems for him and his friends because they mistake the plastic for food and eat it!
It gets worse when Mr. Carbon and Ms. Methane pop out and tell the students that humans are creating carbon every time they burn coal or gas, and methane when they throw away too much trash. Mother Nature comes to the rescue when she tells Koda to do the eco-friendly tasks in the Emergency Coupon Book and to ask students to help.
Students learned that by pledging to do at least five actions in the coupon book, they and their families could help save the polar bears and sea turtles, and protect the planet!
“I am so excited about the learning that happens as a result of this assembly and the three-week program in which students and their families take action by changing little things like turning off lights when they are not using them, and reducing, reusing and recycling more,” Ms. D’Orio said. “By using the coupon book, students learn responsibility, citizenship and that their actions really can help protect our planet!”