April is Earth Month, and at Fieldston Lower, students, faculty, and staff celebrated with an outdoor assembly on the lower field. It was a beautiful day; the blue sky, newly blooming trees, and faint sounds of birds chirping provided a perfect backdrop for an hour of learning and singing about the importance of implementing sustainability practices and conserving our natural world.
To kick off the assembly, Assistant Principal for Academic Life Shawn Chisty read a land acknowledgment, emphasizing to students the importance of recognizing the Lenape, Munsee-speaking people, who originally settled the land where Fieldston Lower now sits. Chisty then invited 5th Grade students to the microphone to share what they’ve learned about protecting the environment and ways to promote a greener planet.
One 5th Grade student shared what they’d recently learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: “It might be hard to imagine how big it is. Imagine our playing field filled with garbage. Now imagine 160 million more playing fields filled with garbage. That’s how big the patch is!”
Another student encouraged her classmates to recycle by “starting small by throwing away as little as possible on Fridays. Then start to make this a habit every day. Remember, there is only one planet, Earth, and we must take care of it.” Students then held up a sign that read, “No such thing as throw away!” to encourage reuse and recycling.
Lastly, two students shared what reading excerpts of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” taught them about the harmful effects of the insecticide commonly known as DDT on the environment and wildlife habitats. DDT was banned as a result of Carson’s advocacy, which students used as an important reminder to stand up for what is right.
After the informative student speeches, Music Teachers Blake Rowe and Bárbara Martinez led the School in singing songs chosen to show appreciation for our planet and inspire the students to take action in their own lives, such as “This Pretty Planet” by Tom Chapin and “Garden Song” by John Denver. One song, “La Tierra,” was particularly special because the students were able to sing the song completely in Spanish!
The Earth Day assembly was a memorable and educational experience for everyone involved, and the School’s natural beauty was a reminder of the importance of protecting the environment for future generations!