Assembly recognizes Starside for environmental education, awareness
This year Starside Elementary went green, next year they’ll go greener. The school seems up to the task.
Students and staff at Starside have embraced the mantra ‘reduce, recycle, reuse’ so much so that they were honored as a Kansas Green School of the Year by the Kansas Association of Conservation and Environmental Education.
The school was honored Monday with an assembly and presentation from KACEE representatives, U.S. Representative Dennis Moore, De Soto mayor Dave Anderson and superintendent Sharon Zoellner.
The assembly kicked off with an announcement by Mother Nature, portrayed by Elyzabeth Navarre, that all Starside students would receive a their very own tree to plant.
“Make sure the soil is nice and loose around the roots,” Mother Nature advised. “And don’t forget to water to make sure it has enough to drink.”
Third grade students performed “It’s Easy Being Green”, a song from their music program.
The song urged students that being green was easy like changing a light bulb, recycling or taking a walk.
Principal Jessica Dain said Starside students are global citizens and responsible for the earth.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of you than I am today,” she said.
De Soto mayor Anderson gave students an idea of the things the city does to be environmentally friendly.
One effort the city does is for parents to take limbs to the city and the city will make mulch, Anderson said.
Shari Wilson, KACEE representative, said students were fortunate to be at Starside with teachers and principals that are environmentally conscious.
“It’s so nice to meet you all in person,” she said. “I’ve been looking forward to that.”
Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed an executive order Monday proclaiming April 12-18 Environmental Education Week in Kansas, Wilson said.
“We want all Kansas to be educated and stewards of the environment,” she said.
Starside is the greenest school John Mitchell, director of KDHE Division of Environment has ever been to.
“There are green buttons, shirts and hats,” he said of the students’ green attire. “I’ve never been at a school where I could meet Mother Nature.”
Mitchell presented seven Starside students with a banner honoring the recognition of Kansas Green School of the Year.
Lucas Hall, Taylor Escobar, McKenna Kerr, Emily Robbinson, Cameron Pflaum, Clayton Pflaum and Caitlin Weese were presented the banner and posed for photos.
Mitchell said the school takes emphasis on “reduce, reuse, recycle”.
There continues to be value for the need of those, he said.
U.S. Representative, Dennis Moore, D-Lenexa, told the students they set a good example for other schools.
“Kermit said it’s not easy being green, but it is,” Moore said.
Moore brought a guitar along to lead students in a rendition of “This Land is Our Land”.
“It’s not about me, it’s about you and someday you’ll have families and kids and grandkids,” he said of keeping the earth clean.
The school was also honored this week with the debut of an issue of Scholastic News, a national classroom magazine, featuring Starside students on the cover.
When the feature in the magazine was first announced counselor Paula Henderson said students were excited.
“We’re just pretty excited about it. It’s going to be fun. The kids are excited because they know the publication and read it. It’s been lots of fun,” she said.
On Monday, students were thrilled to see their school proudly displayed in the magazine.