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Teacher Appreciation Week, Environmental Awareness Week, Pedestrian Safety Training, and Children's Book Award

Students and staff were back in full swing after the spring break and gearing up for the last weeks of the school year.

Teacher Appreciation Week. This week celebrated Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Each school honored its staff in different ways including special breakfasts and luncheons. It is never too late to say thank you to those who dedicate their lives to teaching our kids.

Environmental Awareness Week. welcomed Bonnie Crevier of GardenGirls.com and her crew of four last week as part of their Environmental Awareness Week.

Students all had intervals during the day to work with Crevier and her team, while doing hands on landscaping of the school grounds.

Crevier guided students through raking, pruning, weeding, mulching, edging and planting. “Teaching gardening is like playing outside all day long,” she said.

This is the second year that GardenGirls worked with students. Some students were especially excited as they had planted peas and sunflower seeds and had the opportunity to transplant those outside.

GardenGirls.com began business in 2006 and as indicated on their website, Crevier’s “drive is about touching all of the senses: being able to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste the beauty of the world around us.” They provide design, service, and maintenance to both residential and commercial gardens.

Zeh School students also took advantage of biking or walking to school last week.  By the look of the bike racks, many families were excited to enjoy the spring mornings together while fitting in a little family exercise time, too. Principal Susan Whitten said that 138 students walked or biked to school. This was an effort to show students that walking or biking to school can improve personal health while improving the environment and using different energies.

Continuing with the environmental theme at Zeh School, an Arbor Day program was held for the entire school on April 29. Students and families have been collecting drink pouches. These were sent to TerraCycle, which in turns pays for what you collect and they recycle the packaging material. The school earned $80 in this recycling project, enough to purchase a flowering cherry tree from , which was planted as part of the outdoor student assembly.

Several classes presented poems on the recycle, reuse, and reduce themes.

Pedestrian Safety Program: second graders had Pedestrian Safety Training provided by WalkBoston, a non profit organization that encourages walking for transportation, health and recreation.  They are also dedicated to improving walking conditions in cities and towns in Massachusetts.

Teams of one parent volunteer and two students went over rules of walking safely, including crosswalk and parking lot safety. Students were shown where to look for safe places to walk and cross; and how to stop, look, and listen before doing so.

Joe Cutrufo, WalkBoston representative, trained parents prior to their on the street training with the kids.  He comments that the 30 minute program, “reinforces safety skills, not only for the kids but for the adults.”

Children's Book Award. The Northborough Education Foundation, Northborugh and  Southborough school and public libraries are in collaboration again for the Northboro/Southboro Children’s Book Award (NSCBA). 

Students in grades third through fifth have been given a list of 20 nominated books.  If participating, they must read a minimum of three of the books from the list by May 28 and submit their vote.  The winner will be chosen on June 3.

Books are available at the school libraries as well as the Northborough Free Library, and offer varied reading levels and interests.

This column will highlight some of the schools’ many special programs, speakers, events, and community service projects.  If you are aware of a program that you would like featured in this column, please email Liz Nolan at lizard211@gmail.com.

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