Trees play an essential part in our daily lives. They give us many things; from oxygen to clean water, and endless benefits in between. Perhaps that is why it’s a good idea to teach young minds about how amazing they are, and the importance of planting them every year.
In North America we are just finishing up the first month of the school year. Time flies! Before you know it, the first day of spring will be here, and you will be wondering how to get your students engaged in Earth Day.
Though you might be wondering why I am bringing up an April event before October, here is brief history that suggests we might want to think about teaching it more than once a year.
The roots of this 46 year old celebration are based on education. In 1970, an oil spill in California inspired an annual tradition used to draw awareness to the environment.
“On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.”
Now more than ever, this message of a healthy, sustainable environment is being shared and echoed across the globe. From the Climate Week that was just held in New York City, alongside the United Nations General Assembly that featured the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, to the Paris Agreement that hits the news on a near daily basis, the topic of the environment – and its health - are trending.
Often times it’s easier to engage students in an event when they understand the meaning behind it, and why it’s such an important tradition. This tradition has grown immensely over the decades with more than 1 billion people celebrating Earth Day in 2010 – marking the 40 year anniversary.
That’s why we at One Tree Planted suggest starting out the school year with regular regiment of bringing the topic of trees into the classroom. Though there are many ways to do this – and we’ll be sure to provide tips along the way – a great way to start is to get your students involved in their very own tree planting campaign.
Our School Tree Challenge happens throughout the school year, running from September until – you got it – Earth Day on April 22nd, 2017. It’s easy to get started, and a fun way to get students rallying for more trees to get planted, especially since the school that plants the most trees wins the Bonsai Tree Award.
Whether your class plants a row, or plants a forest, each team will be rewarded with a Tree Certificate stating how many trees were planted. As a bonus, any team that plants more than 50 trees receives a free One Tree Planted T-Shirt to be raffled off to the class or awarded to the student who planted the most trees - that part is entirely up to the team leader.
Although you might not have trees on the table for this week’s curriculum, it’s never too soon to plant the seed. The sooner your class gets signed up, the faster they can begin fundraising for trees!
For every dollar raised, one tree will be planted with the United States Forestry Service and Colorado State Forestry. Click Here to get started.
How do you celebrate the Earth in your classroom throughout the year? Comment below or connect with us on Social Media!
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One Tree Planted has partnered with Guatemala-based organization New Roots to plant 15,000 trees this year!
What makes New Roots truly unique is the holistic way in which they weave together reforestation, education, and social impact to not only protect the environment but also provide financial opportunity for indigenous people.