By Jessica Seay, Baton Rouge AmeriCorps member proudly serving on the New Schools for Baton Rouge team at Merrydale Elementary School. 

Every day is Earth Day at Dale in the Garden (DIG), the after-school garden club at Merrydale Elementary School. These 2nd through 5th graders have been meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays all year where they spend their afternoons tending the garden and learning about healthy foods to eat that they can grow themselves! These students also recently embarked on the arduous task of digging a hole to China as part of their lesson on soil layers.

In celebration of Earth Day, the members of Garden Club created a painting depicting what they think makes the Earth beautiful. The students filled a page with flowers, rays of sunshine, rainbows and streaks of blues, greens and yellows. They also discussed some of the ways they can keep Earth beautiful. Their ideas ranged from recycling to planting more plants, to walking more instead of driving everywhere. Calvin*, a 5th grader in the garden club, said he is planning on celebrating Earth day by going to pick up litter with his mom on Sunday.

The members of DIG are working now to learn about the Earth and develop an appreciation for its beauty. Their outdoor lessons in elementary school will hopefully cultivate a love of the outdoors as they grow. What starts today as an appreciation for sunshine, flowers and digging in the dirt could someday turn into a school-wide recycling project or a day dedicated to cleaning their community as these students gain their voice and become leaders.

Happy Earth Day from Merrydale Elementary School! Take some time to notice and appreciate the beauty of the flowers, the sunshine and the streaks of blue and green.


*Students name has been changed to protect their privacy.

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