Environmental Lessons Take Root

Across the district, students received blue spruce saplings last week, thanks to volunteer work and donations.

Now in its 26th year, the program began with an anonymous donor known as the Tree Lady. Through the October Hill Foundation grant, many trees have been distributed to students throughout the years. This year Middle Gate Elementary School math/science specialist Pam Fagan said roughly 1,300 trees were sent home with Newtown students.

Through the program students in kindergarten through sixth grade have the option of bringing trees home to plant with their family.

At Middle Gate, trees were distributed on Friday, April 26, as part of the school’s Earth Week celebration. Reusable shopping bags were also donated by Target to give to students at Middle Gate this year.

Before one group of third grade students received their trees, Ms Fagan explained the students would be responsible for laying their sapling on wet newspaper and wrapping the newspaper around the sapling’s base.

“Because it is a real living organism, you want to make sure the top of the tree is always facing the sky when you hold them,” Ms Fagan said to the gathered students.

Groups of students made their way to Ms Fagan’s room throughout Friday to receive their saplings. Volunteers Kathy Camputaro, Debbie DeBlasi, Carol Brachflower, Kim Hornby, Corky Mackey, and Ginger Nichols helped the third grade receive and prepare their saplings to bring home with them.

As part of the program, Ms Fagan also asked each student to fill out a “thank you” note to send to the Tree Lady for her gift.

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