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Sacred Heart celebrates Earth Day

Tree planting

Middle school student Jake Denhard helps plant a tree in Sacred Heart Catholic School’s sensory garden. Submitted photo

SALISBURY — Sacred Heart Catholic School students were on spring break for Earth Day on April 22, but that didn’t stop the school from holding an Earth Day celebration earlier this month. The school held Earth Day activities and learning exercises on May 16 with help from teachers and community members. 

The day was coordinated by middle school science teacher Hillary Shores and featured guests Danélle Cutting from the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, Sue Davis from the Rowan County Beekeeper Association, Sam Parrott from the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, Randy Cox from the Rowan County Master Gardener Association, Shannon Ellsworth from Horizons Unlimited and Beth Stebe from the Rowan County 4-H Club.

Activities were divided by grade level. Elementary students planted seeds and learned that plants need proper soil, water and sunlight.Cutting taught them the “finger test” to see if the soil is too dry. Middle school students worked in the sensory garden and planted a Japanese maple. They also planted milkweed to attract monarch butterflies.

Davis taught students about the importance of pollinators, explained pollinator decline and how they could attract bees and other pollinators to their yards and gardens. Davis also showed students preserved samples of pollinators.

Parrott of the LandTrust made wildlife education fur students. Children also had the opportunity to learn about state wildlife and what to do if they encounter a wild animal. They discussed the basic principles of conservation and participated in a wildlife scavenger hunt on the Sacred Heart campus.

Beth Stebe opened students’ eyes to the different opportunities offered by the 4-H Club. Students tried origami animal art.

Ellsworth emphasized the concepts of “reduce, reuse and recycle” and being good stewards of the Earth.

Cox had students studying engineering and carpentry in one activity as they built bird feeders, bee boxes and bluebird houses.

New Sacred Heart Principal Tyler Kulp was excited, too.

“We are full S.T.R.E.A.M. ahead,” he said. “There are lessons of science, agriculture, math, engineering and religion blossoming everywhere. You can read about building a bee box or birdhouse in a book or you can get wood and hammers and just build one. Which one really teaches? Our fourth-grade students are studying our N.C. state. Instead of reading about the cash crops of N.C., these students came outside and planted cotton, soybeans, corn, sweet potatoes and tobacco. Learning in action. Beautiful.”

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