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Guadalupe Elementary students go green for Earth Day

By KBell
April 23, 2011 at midnight
Updated April 22, 2011 at 11:23 p.m.

Carson Andersen, 11, studies his Prince William seeds before planting them in celebration of Earth Day at Guadalupe Elementary School.

ABOUT THE H-E-B CHALLENGE

H-E-B on Rio Grande Street donated an oak tree to Guadalupe Elementary School for a job well-done in taking care of the planet.

In one week, kindergarten through fifth grades collected a total of 5,496 plastic bags to be recycled.

The grocery store's mascot, H-E-B Buddy, was on campus Wednesday to greet the kids.

Using salvaged tin cans filled with rocks gathered from the playground, fifth-graders at Guadalupe Elementary School were practicing what they preach.

"The Earth is important, and we need to take care of it," said 10-year-old Katlyn Garrett, as she planted flower seeds in the refurbished green bean can. "When we get older, the Earth may not be as healthy as it should be."

The entire elementary school was doing its part to make sure that didn't happen.

Wednesday was the culmination of the school's emphasis on Earth Day, which is Friday. Students clad in all shades of green traveled from station to station, participating in various environment awareness activities.

"Children are like sponges, and they know what they have to do," said second-grade teacher, Dora Flores. "If they follow through with it, we'll have a better, safer Earth."

Flores called the kids resilient and said she had no doubt they'll continue to act on what they've learned at school.

"At first, I didn't know what recycling clothes meant, and they told us it's handing down clothes," said Katlyn, who thought that was a doable idea.

Her classmate, 11-year-old Coltin Williams, had a similar plan for how he was going to work what he's learned about the environment into daily life.

"Picking up trash and throwing it in the recycle bins, or using old things like clothes and water bottles," Coltin said.

Several of the students in Flores' class said the flower-planting station was the best - so far.

It was early in the morning, after all, and the kids had a daylong schedule that would take them around the school to stations like music class, where they'd belt out the "Recycle Rap," and a class for bracelet-making, with beads that represent the water cycle.

But before the fifth-graders moved on to the next activity, they were ushered outside to see the oak tree donated by H-E-B on Rio Grande Street.

The fifth-grade class beat out the rest of the grades in the grocery store's challenge to collect and recycle plastic bags. In one week, the fifth-graders recycled a total of 1,719 bags, earning them a movie and popcorn day on H-E-B's tab.

"It's nice to know that we're helping save the Earth, and it's fun doing activities like this," Coltin said.

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