Hicksville students plant trees to fight climate change

class group photo outdoors

Hicksville Middle School students known as the “Green Team” planting white spruces in front of the middle school to help combat climate change.
Photo courtesy of Hicksville Public Schools

Hicksville Middle School teachers Kevin Boyle, Meghan Dowling-Lewis, Kevin Kerley and Lauren Kranz created the Climate Change Initiative to increase student awareness of climate change and its impact on the local, national and global community. The eighth grade social studies teachers introduced students to causes of global warming and discussed carbon footprints with the students. In class, they learned about food waste and plastic pollution and wrote letters to members of the Board of Education as well as their local representatives to express their support for climate-friendly initiatives.

Students became engaged and wanted to act in their own community. Social studies teacher Lauren Kranz successfully applied for the New York State Seedling Program, and Hicksville Public Schools received 15 white spruce seedlings, and a districtwide tree-planting initiative was born.

Recently, 30 Hicksville Middle School students volunteered to be part of the “Green Team” who planted two white spruce seedlings in front of the middle school. One student exclaimed that the seedling would one day be taller than the flagpole!

Dr. Rose Borda, supervisor of social studies and family and consumer science, explained, “The students are young enough to watch the trees grow before they graduate and see for themselves that they can make a positive and lasting impact at their school.”

At Hicksville’s Old Country Road School, high school students involved in the school’s Ecology Club joined together with Old Country Road fifth grade students to dig holes and plant five white spruce seedlings. Andrew Lichtenthal, high school science teacher and Ecology Club adviser, explained to all the students the importance of trees to combat climate change. Seedlings were also planted at East Street School and Fork Lane School.

An idea that germinated in the middle school social studies classroom has become a districtwide tree planting initiative which is instilling a passion for the natural world, responsibility to protect our fragile ecosystem and promoting a shared experience by students, teachers, custodians, administrators and parents across schools.

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