‘Planting’ an educational seed

Published 11:00 am Thursday, April 23, 2009

JACKSON — A lesson in being kind to Mother Earth is a lesson well learned for a class of elementary students here.

On Tuesday, fourth graders from Central Elementary celebrated Earth Day by leaving their own mark on the school’s campus.

The fourth graders planted a Sun Valley Maple tree in the front of the school. The students gleefully surrounded the tree with shovels and helping hands.

With a little assistance from Tony Beckham with Roanoke Nursery in Roanoke Rapids, the children gave the tree a good start on its future life at the school.

The Earth Day event was sponsored by John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. (JBSS), a company that owns the Fisher Nut plant in Garysburg.

Central Principal Mary Harrell-Sessoms and fourth grade teacher Johnnie Rawls agreed the tree planting was a useful educational hands-on project for the students.

“It’s a wonderful educational experience for the students,” said Harrell. “(The tree) is something our school and the community can enjoy for a long time.”

Students from Central Elementary as well as others from JBSS communities across the nation participated in a drawing contest. The students were asked to draw pictures on recycled paper of inventions that would help in recycling and keeping the Earth clean.

Dylan Watkins was chosen as the winner of the drawing contest at Central Elementary for his illustration of “The Recyclinator.”

Watkins said his invention would take garbage and recycle it into something useful. His drawing shows a user of “The Recyclinator” placing a can in one side of the machine and exiting it on the other end as a watch.

Watkins said he was surprised he won the contest. He also learned a valuable lesson.

“It taught me not to litter and throw stuff away, (but) to recycle,” he said. “If you throw it (trash) on the ground…you don’t want trash everywhere.”

For winning the contest he was presented a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart. Rawls’ class was also presented with a $25 gift card to the store for the purchase of supplies.