In the words of Kermit the frog, "It's not easy being green."
The Green Team at Davidson Elementary, however, is trying.
In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, they spent the better part of this month collecting plastic bags for a contest sponsored by Harris Teeter, called "We Think Green."
The bags, collected by students and teachers, were turned in to Harris Teeter to be recycled, and the school is waiting to hear if it won the $1,000 cash prize.
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The Green Team, an arm of the school's community service club, is headed by fifth-grade teacher Katie Radcliff. Open to fifth-grade students, Radcliff feels it's a great place for young people to "use what they have or who they are to help out." They've donned fluorescent vests and collected recycling from classrooms Friday mornings so the addition of the plastic bag collection was - pardon the pun - an organic one. The group created posters and went on the morning announcements to pitch the drive.
The fifth-graders spend a quarter talking about ecosystems and humans' effect on them, so the club is a natural way of putting the curriculum into action.
Radcliff feels that there's no better way for kids to learn. "I think it's really important to instill in kids the power they have to make a difference in their community," she said.
The school's can drive will also culminate on April 22. Students have been sending in cans to be recycled, with competitions between classes and prizes for pupils who bring in at least 330 cans. After all the cans are collected, the school will receive money for their recycling efforts.
Davidson Elementary students and staffers have tried in other ways to be more environmentally conscious. The Eco Trail, a path that serves as an ecological classroom, was revamped last year and now boasts a wooden learning bridge. Two other bridges - which span a creek, an amphitheater and a butterfly garden - make the Eco Trail a perfect place for budding naturalists.
"We use the Eco Trail as an extension of our classroom," Radcliff said. A school partnership with Latta Plantation also helps. A liaison has been out to teach lessons and help plan activities.
The school and the PTA have prepared for an Earth Day celebration on April 22. Stations will be set up along the trail, including a recycling can station, a solar energy station, a scavenger hunt, a water conservation relay and an activity by the Discovery Place Kids Museum.