Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Students plant trees at Sally Ride

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Photo courtesy of MCPS
Sally K. Ride Elementary School students Gabriel Hartman (kneeling) and Jonathan Zwick plant a tree at the school with Laurie Bricker, the supervisor of the Outdoor and Environmental Education Programs with Montgomery County Public Schools.
After learning about ecosystems in their classes, every fourth-grader at Sally K. Ride Elementary School in Germantown planted trees near the school to help stop erosion.

Forty-five trees were planted during the April 17 project, said teacher Katherine LoCurto.

The property is adjacent to the Great Seneca Creek Watershed. A hill leads from the school’s parking lot to the wetlands region. The hill was an ‘‘excellent place to plant these trees and stop erosion and take runoff and absorb that before it gets into the watershed,” she said.

The students learned how to shake the trees’ roots and mulch. And LoCurto said she hopes the students will learn from the new habitat as they watch is mature.

‘‘It is their life, they live in this neighborhood, they spend so much of their day here,” she said. ‘‘And then the idea of what it takes to maintain this. If they stay in the neighborhood they’ll see that once they get this started, it will come back.”

The Forestry Board of Montgomery County partners with four schools each year to do these plantings, according to Laurie Bricker, the supervisor of the Outdoor and Environmental Education Programs with Montgomery County Public Schools.

Other groups that were instrumental in the tree planting were the state Department of Natural Resources, county Parks and Planning employees and some retired environmentalists. The trees were donated by Pepco and employees from Stadler Nurseries dug the holes. Principal Christopher Wynne and the PTA also contributed.

Kingsview holds book fair

The National Junior Honor Society at Kingsview Middle School in Germantown is holding a book drive and accepting donations to benefit the Blaine Academics Plus School in Philadelphia. Blaine Academics Plus School has had limited money to spend on library books, has not had a media specialist for some time, according to an e-mail from media specialist Debra Munley.

The National Junior Honor Society is hoping to deliver at least 1,500 new and gently used books for pre-kindergarten to eighth grade.

Drop off books to the media center by May 16. The school is located at 18909 Kingsview Road.

PHS teacher honored

Poolesville High School teacher John Sparrow, the field studies coordinator for the Global Ecology Studies magnet program, received the James B. Coulter Award from the Tawes Awards for a Clean Environment.

Sparrow leads activities such as a week-long camping trip to the Teton Science School to teach about different ecosystems, an overnight trip in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to study bay ecology, and backpacking trips along the Appalachian Trail to teach ‘‘leave no trace” hiking and camping. He advises the ‘‘Green Schools Club,” which creates opportunities to improve energy efficiency at the school, according to a statement from the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Petroleum Council, which sponsors the award.

The award is named for late Maryland Gov. J. Millard Tawes, who was also the state’s first secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

Send your School Notes by 10 a.m. Thursdays to Melissa A. Chadwick via e-mail at, by fax to 301-670-7183 or by mail to 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Photos will also be considered.