It’s no easy feat to quiet a class of four-year-olds. But, when the lights were turned off for an hour to celebrate Earth month, all 20 little faces sat in silence for a moment before asking, “What is electricity?” and, “Why are the lights off?”
As part of the school’s ninth annual Root for Earth program, The Goddard School of Littleton made celebrating Earth Day a weeklong affair. April 9 through 12, kids enjoyed daily crafts and lessons about recycling, culminating in a “Lights Out!” hour.
Each day, Goddard’s students, age 18 months through five years old, were introduced to hands-on projects that utilized single-use plastic and recycled materials to create art. Monday was devoted to making a “galaxy in a bottle” with glitter, glow in the dark stars, and glow in the dark paint. On Tuesday, kiddos got to make water bottle wind spirals by coloring on a water bottle the teacher then cut into a spiral and hung up. Wednesday, kids made a “mini-me” from recycled materials, which were given to their parents the following week for “Take Your Child to Work Day.”
The week ended with an hour of “Lights Out!” when all of the lights were turned off from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, April 12 at all 500 Goddard School locations around the country, resulting in a savings of 4 million watts of energy.
The fun continues as students from The Goddard School of Castle Rock star in a recycled runway fashion show on April 22, and will make sensory bottles out of local materials the week of April 22-26.
“The main focus of the week is to bring awareness and educate, at an early age, the impact that we have on our environment,” says Alison Skelton, assistant teacher at The Goddard School of Littleton.
I joined Skelton’s class to make egg carton planters and color on water bottles. The students were intrigued to learn more about the earth and recycling.
“We believe if we start teaching kids about Earth Day early, it would get them excited about recycling,” says Skelton, “then when they go home they’ll talk about the fun project they did and get their parents involved.”