Vera Wiest
Child with crafted tree

This year Earth Day (April 22), and Arbor Day (April 24) came on the same week. Not to let the Covid-19 stay at home policy get in the way, CYC teachers celebrated virtually with their classrooms as a whole.

Partnering with the University of Maryland’s Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, children drew pictures of trees to add to a shared slideshow including images of the children enjoying trees from the school year and during their neighborhood walks. This was shared on the Arboretum’s Facebook page.

The CYC also has an Eco-school page called CyberGreen that presents several Earth friendly activities weekly. These activities are based on weekly themes and include, books, songs, virtual field trips, yoga, stories, and science fun. Mr. M, the CYC music teacher, created a video doing an action poem called, "Here Is my Trunk." Ms. Hurst read three books about trees to share and Ms. McAllister did a time lapse video while she used chalk to make Earth Day messages. A video about going on a field trip to a recycling center was also offered to the children.

For Earth Day the Kindergarten teachers gave the children a journal prompt of, “How do you take care of the Earth?” Some of the responses included, “I turn off the lights,” “I pick up trash,” and “I water plants.” One classroom had their students make something from recycled materials to share on a Zoom meeting. Another class made an instructional video about how to do an observational drawing of a tree.

CYC teachers continue to support environmental lessons creatively even as they are having to be creative themselves in how to interact with young children from a distance.

Photo by Lauren Neimeyer