Open Door students get dirty, plant tree
The students at The Open Door School took full advantage of the warm weather Thursday as they spent part of the afternoon out in the yard planting a tree and flowers.
The Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District sponsored the event and Justin Wurtszler, a manager at Lowes in South Point, donated the tree, flowers and all the soil and mulch. Stephanie Helms, community outreach coordinator and education specialist with the LSSWMD, said this is the fourth year they have hosted the event and she always looks forward to participating.
“We start with a school-wide recycling contest that goes on for one week,” Helms said. “The floor that collects the most recyclables wins and the Solid Waste District sponsors a pizza party for them, but we always get enough for everybody.”
Helms said the students collected more than 1,200 pounds of recyclables. Rumpke gave the school a premium on the materials collected, which helped fund the pizza party.
Helms collaborated with Kathy Conner, teacher and intervention specialist, to plan the first tree-planting event four years ago. Typically held on Earth Day, scheduling conflicts caused them to move it back. The perfect weather was worth the wait however, Conner said.
“It’s really good for the kids because they sometimes think you can just take everything and throw it in the garbage can,” Conner said. “We try to teach them to keep the earth clean and to recycle. They love the contest. They love the competition.”
Conner said the younger students really stepped up this year, collecting 700 pounds of recycling, compared to the older students’ 500.
James Hardy, 20, and Ashley Artis, 18, senior Open Door students, said they liked getting outside of the classroom and getting dirty to plant the tree and flowers. Artis said they did it to help the earth and keep it healthy.
The LSSWMD has one more event scheduled for Open Door School before the end of the school year, Helms said. Rumpke will sponsor a “decorate your own sundae” ice cream party May 13.