Earth Day Groceries Reports, 2003

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Teresa Kurtz
Bluestem Solid Waste Agency
Cedar Rapids, IA USA

We decorated 3012 bags!

About our project: Twelve schools and one Girl Scout Troop in Cedar Rapids, IA (Linn County) participated in the 2003 Earth Day Groceries Project! The effort was coordinated by Bluestem Solid Waste Agency who partnered the school with a neighborhood Econofoods or Hy Vee grocery store, collected the bags from the store, delivered them to the school, and collected/delivered the bags again after the students created their artwork. The grocers supplied the bags, then displayed and passed out the bags during the month of April. This project was done in conjunction with Bluestem SWA educational campaign called "Durable is Do-able", promoting the use of durable shopping totes. The schools either did the project school-wide or picked one grade level. Some of the projects were done as an Earth Day activity, some as an art project during art class, and one was done school-wide in small groups of students one from each grade level. Tip: One school had a volunteer make "stencils" (earth, dolphin, tree, recycling symbol, etc.) out of chip board, which made it easier for the K-1 children to participate. This might also come in handy if you want to do the project but have a very limited amount of time to do it in. Schools participating include: Coolidge Elementary (450) All Saints (120) Grant Wood Elementary (300) Van Buren Elementary (65) Wilkins Elementary (440) Bowman Woods Elementary (527) Pierce Elementary (75) Westfield Elementary (510) Johnson School of the Arts (100) Polk Elementary (210) Viola Gibson Elementary (85) Girls Scouts--Carla Tollefson (30) Kirkwood CC Earth Day Activities (100) The students had loads of fun and all want to do it again next year!! What an awesome activity for celebrating Earth Day--simple and educational! It's an excellent way to partner schools, businesses, and the community!! Teresa Kurtz Education Coordinator Bluestem SWA

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submitted on 5/19/2003

CJ Zachariasen
Erskine Elementary
Cedar Rapids, IA USA

We decorated 230 bags!

About our project: We delivered 230 grocery sacks to Hy-Vee Food Store on Earth Day. The project was coordinated through our media center. Some students decorated the bags at home and others decorated them in the classroom after a short lesson about Earth Day/Environmental Protection. We chose 4 students to return the sacks. While at the store, they were able to help bag a customer's groceries in their bags and therefore see the fruits of their efforts. A short PowerPoint presentation can be found on our school web site.

submitted on 5/9/2003

Vickie Wahl
Pence Elementary School
Fairfield, IA USA

We decorated 100 bags!

About our project: Through the Environmental Issues Instruction class from the University of Northern Iowa, I have been exploring "Forests in a Changing Climate". Through this class and its model, students choose an action to help educate others about our changing climate. My 3rd grade students chose to decorate grocery bags for Earth Day decorated with messages about how people can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. We decorated 100 bags for our local Hy-Vee food store. These bags will be used by Hy-Vee patrons on Tuesday, April 22nd.

submitted on 4/21/2003

Lorie Lewis
Clarke Community School
Osceola, IA USA

We decorated 300 bags!

About our project: I sponsor the Jr. High Student Council and we have been trying to do some community service activities this year. I found this idea on the website and proposed it to the students, of which they thought it was a great idea. I called and spoke to the manager at our local Hy-Vee store and they were eager to get involved. I first picked up 150 bags, to start, and the 8th graders got their science teacher involved, so I picked up another 150 bags. They worked before school, during their study halls and after school to complete this project. I took pictures of the students working on them and am forwarding some pictures of our bags. We even got the local paper involved by putting a picture of our group and a write up of what we did to promote Earth Day. The only problem we had was that during the Science class we had some students that did not take this seriously and wrote negative things on some of the bags. But other than that, it was a fun activity for the students. Thanks for the idea!!

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submitted on 4/17/2003

Carolyn Klein
Oviatt Elementary School
Norwalk, IA USA

We decorated 653 bags!

About our project: Our Earth Day Project was initiated by our Principal Lorri Cooper. Students in grades K-3 designed and colored their Earth Day bags in art class. 1st grade classes studied the artwork of Georgia O'Keeffe. Their designs had a flower theme. 2nd graders discussed the global issues relating to the care of our environment. They used the globe shape as their theme. 3rd grade classes read and discussed the book Sky Tree by Thomas Locker, which integrates science and art. The trees and the environment are the subjects of their designs. In addition to designing the Earth Day bags for Scott's SuperValue, a local sculptor, Bob Lyall, volunteered to visit our school on Earth Day. He creates his sculptures from scrap metal, a form of recycling. He made presentations and demonstrations to the 1st through 3rd grade classes about his artwork. Students and staff were very enthusiastic about this project. We enjoyed this fun learning experience.

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submitted on 4/11/2003