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Earth Day Expo: students learn about nature, preserving the environment

By JJ VELASQUEZ
April 21, 2010 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated April 20, 2010 at 11:21 p.m.

First- and second-grade students at F.W. Gross Magnet Elementary School learn about the water cycle Wednesday at the Earth Day Expo. Cinde Thomas-Jimenez, GBRA education coordinator, taught the group.

On the eve of Earth Day, area students learned about nature and preserving the environment.

"It's the Earth, and it's the only one you have," said Tyler Hotz, a Cuero Intermediate fifth-grader. "You can't take advantage of that."

Victoria's environmental services department partnered with regional school districts to host its second annual Earth Day Expo on Wednesday.

Vendors set up booths in the Victoria Community Center, where they had hands-on activities for children, who learned about natural gas, water cycles and scooping animal waste.

"When you don't pick up after your pets, guess what? That goes in the water," said Sally Keucker, executive director of the Dorothy H. O'Connor Pet Adoption Center. "It is your duty to pick up your doodie."

Keucker taught students the importance of cleaning animal waste, disposing of it properly and using a biodegradable bag to do so.

Students spun a wheel to learn about natural gas. The wheel was divided into different categories with true-or-false prompts the students answered.

At the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority's booth, Cinde Thomas-Jimenez, education coordinator, taught students about the water cycle.

"This couldn't be a more wonderful way to observe Earth Day," said Christi Fuchs, a Cuero Intermediate science teacher who helped organize the event.

Fuchs said teaching the students to be conscious about the environment not only changes their practices now but prepares them for the future.

Cuero Intermediate teacher Laurie Kruger said her students are more aware about the environment than was her generation. Many of her students turn off water faucets and lights when needed.

Kruger emphasized the need to further educate them about the environment.

"I think we have to start with the young people and teach them now to save and preserve for the future," Kruger said.

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