On March 18, KO’s Green Team put together an Earth Day celebration involving both the Upper School and Middle School. Students split off into groups and participated in a variety of activities related to the Earth. From working in the Red KOw Farm to a whole school “trash-ion” show, each activity was designed to make KO students more aware of their impact on the environment.
Thursday afternoon was entirely dedicated to Earth Day and was broken up into three activities for each group. There were 31 groups in all and 29 activities. Groups went off campus to Troutbrook and picked up trash, while others labeled recycling bins, made small signs reminding everybody to be mindful of the environment, and even painted rocks with eco-friendly slogans.
Green Team leader and senior Mckenzie Piehl said that they tried their best to match work activities with the people who had the biggest impact on those spaces. “We wanted Form 6 students to go on campus to clean up because they’re the ones in the parking lot driving so that was good,” she said.
A popular activity was planting seeds in the garden that would eventually be used by Sage Dining.Green Team faculty advisor Lisa Bailey was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of groups picking up trash. “It seemed like the people who were picking up trash really got into the picking up of trash,” she said. “We couldn’t believe how people were willing to go under bushes and it was amazing.”
Other highlights of the day included an Earth Day themed Kahoot game, a short viewing of Netflix’s “Our Planet” in Robert’s Theater, and an all-school “trash-ion” show to end the day. Advisee groups who collected recyclable materials turned their trash into runway-ready outfits, while the school voted on a winner with a live voting system. The winning Marine Biology class was represented by senior model Kyren Petteway, who rocked his eco-friendly Supreme and Louis Vuitton during the show.
Earth Day was also a dress down day for the school, and each form was assigned a color to represent an aspect of the environment. Seventh-graders and sophomores wore pink to represent the coral reefs, eighth-graders and juniors wore blue for the oceans, and sixth-graders, freshmen, and seniors were clad in white for the Arctic. “It was a way to signify our appreciation for these aspects of nature and remind people to speak to how the environment needs protection,” senior Green Team leader Taline Norsigian said. The Green Team held a t-shirt design contest for their shirts. The winner, freshman Regina Miller, designed a green t-shirt to represent the forests.
The cafe also got in on the Earth Day fun with vendors from Our Family Farms, which provides KO with the milk we have at lunch. “She had some ice cream pints and was talking about just what their initiative does,” Taline said. Sardilli Produce was also set up during lunch, and when given a favorite fruit or vegetable they would write on their display board when it’s in season. “She was talking about the impact of waste and chemicals on plants and about different conditions that farmers have to deal with and things like that that impact them,” Taline said.
Earth Day was not only a fun day to celebrate our planet with friends, but also an opportunity for the Upper and Middle Schools to come together. “We felt really strongly that we want to do more as a whole community so we really thought this was a way to get the whole community involved and it was something that we could all do together,” Ms. Bailey said.
Mckenzie said she agreed that including the Middle School was a huge part of the day. “We really wanted to get the middle schoolers involved in the planning process to allow them to feel like they are a part of the bigger community as a whole and also just encourage and inspire them for when they do get to the Upper School,” she said.
Overall, the Green Team has received a lot of positive feedback and has ensured that another Earth Day celebration is on the calendar for next year. “It was really nice that the school supported it and that everyone really got involved and seemed to enjoy it,” Ms. Bailey said. “Without the support of everybody we couldn’t have done it.”