Third and Fourth Grade Environmentalists Teach the Five Rs!

Did you know that saying, “No thank you!” to a plastic straw or packing your lunch in reusable containers could help protect a sea turtle? Third and fourth grade students from Searles Elementary School in Union City put on an Assembly to teach their whole school and many of their parents about the importance of reducing plastic waste to keep our oceans healthy. “The most important thing I hope the audience learned is to save our earth!” shared Jeremy. “For example, they might think of picking up trash and telling people to use reusable things instead of disposable things. I think it is important that they learned this because they might think twice before littering and change their mind. Then our earth will be more clean and beautiful.”

The whole school community came together to learn from the students about how plastic pollution is harming ocean health and ocean life. Parents, grandparents, siblings and cousins were also part of the audience. Fourth grade teachers Ms. Mares and Mr. Bautista played sea turtles in the Assembly and the school principal, Ms. Raquel Bocage, played a whale—all in full costume! “I found the Assembly successful for the kids as well as the entire school,” Ms. Leda Mares commented. “We had a larger than normal group of students cleaning up litter on Friday and Monday. More students want to participate in keeping our school community clean.”

Important messages about practicing the Five Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot/Compost and Refuse) concluded the Assembly. “Being a Storm Drain Ranger means practicing the Five Rs,” one performer explained to the audience. “The Five Rs are tools to reduce waste.” Students shared how they have been practicing the Five Rs to reduce all the plastic garbage in the environment. “I’ve been practicing the Five Rs by bringing reusable containers for my lunch and I say no to straws,” said Claire. The students were so proud to have the opportunity to perform on stage and to be the teachers for a day! Together they informed their whole school of the harmful effects of plastic pollution and shared many waste reducing solutions to help create a cleaner, healthier future for all living things.