April 23, 2016

Toronto's Community Clean Up

Did you notice?  Our neighbourhood just got a face lift.  ;-)   Many Jackman classes participated in Toronto's Community Clean Up project!  Jackman kids were busy with cleaning up the litter in our community.  It was a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.  

Thank you, kids!  Our neighbourhood looks great once again.

Here's what the Jackman kids have to say about litter -
"Cigarettes!!!  Who gave smokers permission to litter their butts?"
"We did a good thing for the environment today."
"I was surprised to see how bad it was."
"Why do people litter anyway?"  
"People shouldn't be so lazy.  They should put litter in garbage cans."
"Sigh. I found so many coffee cups and lids."
"I found lots of water bottles and pop cans."
"One word.  Unacceptable."

April 22, 2016

Earth Day

Here's an excerpt from a speech given at Jackman's Earth Day Assembly...

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!  What’s that?   It’s not Mother’s Day?   Are you sure?   Okay.   So, if it’s not Mother’s Day, what day is it?   It’s Earth Day?  Let me check my calendar.   OK, here's New Years Day and Valentine’s Day and my birthday.  Oh, here it is... April 22... Earth Day!!!  :-)   Happy Earth Day everyone!

You know, now that I think about it, Mother's Day and Earth Day have a lot in common. I'm sure you'll agree, Mothers and the Earth are just so lovable.  Come to think of it, fathers are lovable too.   

So think about this... What do we do for our moms on Mother’s Day?  Buy flowers.  A special card.   Maybe a gift.   How about breakfast in bed?  Or a picnic in the park?   We do similar things for dads on Father’s Day.  Take it from me... Moms and Dads really appreciate these gestures.  They'll be feeling the love.   

Still, when Mother’s day is over, do you stop loving you mom?   Of course not!   You’re going to love her everyday 365 days a year.  Dad’s too.  And you show your love with your day-to-day words and actions.  

Now think... what do we do to show our love for the Earth on Earth Day?  We host school assemblies.   We plant flowers and trees.   We clean up the neighbourhood litter.  We make posters.   These are all great ideas... but there's just one problem.   We can't just love the Earth on April 22.  We need to love the Earth 365 days per year.

That’s why Jackman has a new eco slogan - "Every Day is Earth Day!"  It reminds us to love the earth EVERY SINGLE DAY.  And you guessed it, our love is demonstrated in our actions.   So, what does 365 days of Earth loving look like?   Here are a few ideas to get you started.  
  • Make good choices about what we buy!  We live in a world that values 'stuff'   And frequently, we overdo it.   We need to be careful with our purchases.   Not to mention the packaging our stuff comes in.
  • Travel in eco friendly ways.  Biking and walking to school.  Try it... it's fun.
  • Reduce.  Reduce.  Reduce.   We're good at recycling.   Not so bad on reusing.   But reducing?!?!  That needs some work.  We need to reduce our waste.   Especially our food waste.   Reduce our energy use.   Reduce our busy lives that require us to make convenient choices instead of eco-friendly choices.   
  • Learn about the issues that face our world.   We need to educate oureslves about eco issues.  Books, news, social media, conversations.  But  let's not stop there... ask, "What can we do about these issues?"
So, let’s commit to making 'every day earth day', here at Jackman, but also at home and in the community.  You can do it Jackman!

April 21, 2016

Happy Earth Day

An important day to consider the good things we can do for our Earth... with 364 more days to put our ideas into action.    Let's stay committed to making a difference at school, at home, in our city and around the world.  

April 19, 2016

Reusable Water Bottles

Jackman's Eco Team was wondering... just how many kids at Jackman lug a reusable water bottle to school on a regular basis. Today we took a survey to find out.  

Here's what we discovered:

22 classes participated in the survey
491 kids were surveyed
372 kids had reusable water bottles
That's about 75% of Jackman kids with reusable water bottles.  
Rooms 301, P1 and 212 were the most water-bottle-friendly classes.

Here are some thoughts kids and teachers shared with us"
  • Many kids said they don't lug a reusable water bottle because they use the water fountains instead.   Fair enough.
  • Some kids mentioned that when you drink at the water fountain, some water goes into your mouth, but lots of it falls into the sink and down the drain.  That seems wasteful.   There's no waste with reusable water bottles.
  • Many kids like reusable water bottles because they're convenient and portable.  You can't take a drinking fountain outside at recess or to your soccer game.  ;-)
  • Everyone knows that drinking water is good for you and something we should do more often.
  • Many kids agree that Toronto tap water is just as good, or even better than, store-bought bottled water.   
  • They seem to know that Toronto tap water is clean, safe, tasty, and best of all... free.   Well, sorta.
As you can see, Jackman kids often make good ECO choices about drinking water!   Bravo!  

April 18, 2016

The Giving Tree

Many years ago, my favourite poet, Shel Silverstein, wrote a story book called, "The Giving Tree."   This classic story chronicles the life of a tree and the sacrifices she makes for a boy over her lifetime.   Like me, many teachers read this book with their classes today.   

This story reminds me of one of Jackman's trees.  You know the one - the big, old tree at the front of our school.   It been a vital part of our community for decades.   It has greeted Jackman families for years.  It's given us so much beauty and shade.  We even tapped this tree a couple months ago to collect sap for maple syrup.  A very giving tree indeed.  

Unfortunately, this tree is unhealthy and unstable.  The city's forestry experts decided it was time to cut it down.    

Luckily, Jackman has some wonderful tree advocates.   We convinced the city's urban forestry experts to save the logs for us.  These logs have now become a part of Jackman's playground.  And the kids... they love it!  Our schoolyard has once again been updated with nature.   

Here are some pics of today's tree cutting event...

April 11, 2016

Where's Buzz?

Have you seen the latest box of Honey Nut Cheerios on the grocery shelf?  It's missing something.   It used to have a cute little honey bee on the cover, but not anymore.   So the question is, "Where's Buzz?

Actually, the makers of Cheerios wants us to know that there is something serious going on with the world's bees.  Millions of bees are disappearing.  And we need bees for more than just honey.  Bees play an important role in the pollination of plants everywhere.  We need bees, and lots of them.  

Check out the following links to find out more information about the bee issue.  You can even sign up for free wildflower seeds.   

April 10, 2016

Earth Week @ Jackman

It's won't be long now. Earth Day is just around the corner. Of course, it's hard to do it all in just one day, so we'll be celebrating Earth Day for one whole week! Take a peek at what we're planning for Earth Week @ Jackman  April 18 to April 22, 2016!

Monday is Tree Day! What will they do with that old tree at the front of the school?  Today we’ll find out how an old tree can be re-used in many creative ways.

Tuesday is Water Bottle Day!  Which class has the most reusable water bottles?   Let’s do the math to find the most water-bottle-friendly class.  

Wednesday is Green Day!  You know it… Jackman is a ‘green’ school, in many ways.  Today, Jackman is getting even greener (on the inside).   

Thursday is Prize Day!  Will this be your lucky day?  Jot down your eco ideas on a special ballet and cross your fingers.  There are some great eco prizes to be won.  

And finally, Friday is Earth Day!  The day begins with an inspiring Earth Day assembly.  We’ll also participate in Toronto's Community Clean Up Project.  Let’s make our neighbourhood look great again.   

Looking forward to celebrating Earth Week with you!!!