Salisbury students on a mission to save the world

SALISBURY — This past school year Salisbury Community School kindergarteners were on a mission: saving the world.
The 10 kindergarteners and their teachers, Mary Drew and Amanda Payne, ran with that passion for the earth, not losing sight of the mission throughout the year.
In the fall of 2016, their campaign was focused on using paper towels. After several weeks of collecting data on how many paper towels the kindergarten alone used, it was decided that something had to be done to deter the growing hole above the earth. Each member of the class began using a personal, cloth hand towel that was washed weekly. The paper towel dispenser in the classroom was filled once in December, and any towels that were used by guests for drying hands were dried and re-used to clean up spills.
The kindergarten inquiry unit this spring focused on how humans make an impact on the health and survival of ocean animals and their habitats. When it was learned how much plastic finds its way to the ocean via local streams and rivers, the kids were angry. They began to reduce the use of plastic grocery bags and sought alternatives. The class wrote a very compelling letter to the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-Op, Shaw’s and Hannaford, requesting donations of re-useable shopping bags, “saving the world one re-useable shopping bag at a time.” The grocers responded in a big way, donating a total of 400 bags. Three bags were distributed to each of the 104 students in the school, which serves preschool through sixth grade.
To replace plastic bags for carrying “stuff,” each kindergartener made a personalized “tee shirt bag,” proudly decorated around their own carefully handwritten words, “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.”
Teachers said the Salisbury kindergarteners are to be commended for their ongoing and passionate work as stewards of the earth. Their ability to think, dream, rationalize, share and put into action their deep feelings and beliefs about the right things to do should give us all hope that the youth of our world do care enough to do their part in making the world a better place.

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