page top

red arrow bulletNews

‘Love Your Water’

Rutherford Elementary School celebrates Global Water Day

March 26, 2018

A student tapes his paper heart on a board showing he will conserve waterIt was all about water at Rutherford Elementary School on Thursday, March 22, as the Environmental Stewardship Club celebrated Global Water Day.

Students learned the importance of clean, drinkable water and how vital it is to conserve it. They also learned how to protect our water sources from pollution, especially from single-use plastic packaging and materials.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) representatives were on hand showing students how a clear plastic bag, like a sandwich bag, makes its way into the ocean looking like a jellyfish. Other fish eat it because to them, jellyfish are food. They are ingesting plastic that ultimately can hurt them and those higher up on the food chain who then eat the fish.

The students at Rutherford took the environmental pledge, committing to conserving water, preserving our natural resources by recycling and taking and using only what we need. Afterwards, each student took a paper heart with his or her name on it and placed it on a water mural pledging support.

“The students learned that they waste four gallons of water per day brushing their teeth with the water running,” said Evadne Giannini, founder of HospitalityGreen and co-creator of the Environmental Stewardship Club. “They are also learning the importance of using reusable bottles at the water stations at the schools instead of single-use plastic.”
A representative from the DEC talks to students about the dangers of plastic pollution to aquatic life

Giannini also said the participants in the after-school club are learning to recycle, compost and be aware of the environment.

“What’s more important is developing skills of curiosity and observation,” she said about the students. “They are bringing what they learn home and spreading it to their families. This club is built on respect for nature, the environment and who you are.”

The Environmental Stewardship Club, in its first year, is a partnership with Monticello Central School District, HospitalityGreen and the Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) program. The club is free for third through fifth grade participants at Rutherford and Cooke Elementary Schools. Club members participate in activities and earn badges for their environmental stewardship actions. Jane Sorensen, coordinator for the EPIC Program, and Giannini have 60 students in their clubs and a waiting list.

“Our students are developing a respect for preserving our natural resources,” said Giannini. “Club members keep a journal and take notes on the number of bottles they're saving by using the water station and reusable bottles.”

That number builds quickly. Cooke Elementary, for example, has saved 27,000 plastic bottles since the program was initiated, Giannini said. That's a lot of plastic

Every drop counts. Love your water.