Students from Bradford Elementary School in Montclair recently visited Montclair State University to help plant flowers in honor of Earth Day. The children, who are students in Ms. Cahill’s kindergarten class and Ms. Chanin’s second grade class, got their hands dirty planting the brightly colored flowers in the Alumni Green.
“We planted 250 flowers, so they had plenty of opportunities to dig in the dirt,” says Shawn Connolly, associate vice president for University Facilities. “The students are smart and they were eager to participate. They’re very aware of how fragile our planet is and the negative effects people can have on the environment.”
Connolly kicked things off with an educational lecture on the earth’s water cycle and the impact humans have on it. As part of his presentation, he demonstrated how a cloud forms by creating one inside a five-gallon drum.
“This is the second year we’ve hosted this event. Last year we welcomed only one class onto campus for it,” says Connolly. “This year we had two classes and they were really engaged. I can only see this program growing.”
The event lasted about two hours, with students listening to two books about Earth Day read by a librarian, and enjoying a snack.
The Earth Day Planting event was a collaboration between the University and Bradford Elementary School as part of the Bradford-Montclair State University Partnership. Bradford School is located a short walk from the campus, and students visit Montclair State throughout the school year for weekly music recitals, dance and theater performances, health and physical education stations, video conferencing, science experiments, visits to the forensics lab, and a variety of other learning experiences. In turn, the experienced teachers at Bradford School supervise many of the University’s teachers-in-training in Bradford classrooms.
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