Earth Day to the next level

Students from class 406, in P.S. 76, is reaching out to the community, media and politicians in hopes of spreading knowledge on environmental issues and solutions to help the Earth. (Top: l-r) Maryam Asker, Matthew Nolan, Alaa Mustafa, Rebecca Leone. (Bottom: l-r) Kareem Armfield, Olga Benjamin

A 4th grade class took their Earth Day project to the next level, reaching out to educate the community and make an impact on the world.

The students of class 406 in P.S. 76, located 900 Adee Avenue, took on the task of creating persuasive essays on environmental issues as a class project. What began as a simple assignment soon turned into a mission for change.

“They wanted to write for a real purpose about something important to help educate people,” said class 406 teacher Rebecca Leone.

Matthew Nolan, 10, explained that his biggest concern was energy conservation, using his calculator as an example of the advantage of solar energy.

“We talked about ‘energy vampires.’ They are something that sucks energy out of your house,” said Kareem Armfield, 9. “You should turn off the lights and your computer and unplug things if you’re not using them.”

The class also focused their attention on preserving animal habitats and saving endangered species. For the second year, the class adopted an endangered species through the Wildlife Conservation Society, this time selecting an Amur Leopard.

“I wrote about endangered species. If people recycled paper more we wouldn’t have to cut down so many trees and destroy animals’ homes,” said Alaa Mustafa, 9. “The trees give us more oxygen. People also shouldn’t cut off animal skin. You wouldn’t like it is someone took off your skin.”

Maryam Asker, 9, offered suggestions such as using cars less and shopping with reusable bags, instead of plastic, to help the environment.

“Plastic never goes away. One day you could be playing on a baseball field and the next day they could be using it to store garbage,” said Nolan.

After extensively research their topics, the students sent out letters to local politicians and media outlets to help spread their knowledge and encourage change.

Through their efforts the class has contributed towards the school’s new recycling program and continues to work towards switching to biodegradable food trays.

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