Since fall 2010, we host an annual fall Harvest Celebration and an annual spring Magothy Garden Celebration Day. This day of celebration is for our students, parents, volunteers, and staff, with environmental education and garden maintenance as its goal. In conjunction with this event, Living Classrooms has helped us educate participants about fall garden maintenance, bulb planting, and birdhouse placement. A local organization has brought animals for the children to interact with. We host an interactive outdoor music concert with Music Together. Volunteers run stations on nature art, reusing materials, rain barrel decorating, and bulb planting. Recognition is given to everyone for all of their hard work and the gardens are prepared for winter and spring.
Each year all of our students celebrate Earth Week with a week-long focus on why we do the Green things that we do and what they can do at home. This celebration includes activities on runoff pollution, our place in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the importance of plants and ecosystem diversity, and creative applications of reusing and recycling materials for art. Since 2011 we have added Earth Days throughout the calendar, doing activities on energy usage and packing a “Green Lunchbag”, complete with the making of personalized cloth napkins for use with lunch. These activities for the students are shared beyond the classroom with their families.
We track Spirit Points, which rewards the students for their parent’s volunteer efforts and cooperative meeting attendance. In 2013, a schoolyard campout was one of the Spirit Points rewards. It was so successful that since then everyone gets to spend a day of camping in our Outdoor Classroom during Earth Week! We spend the entire day outside; we pitch a tent, make s’mores, tell campfire stories, and go for a hike. We hope to inspire our families to do these activities together outside of school as well.