Green Team and Shade Tree Committee Team Up with Marlboro Elementary Champions
In conjunction with the New Jersey School- Age Care Coalition’s (NJSACC) “Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State”, Marlboro Elementary Champions (Champions is the district's before and after school provider) Program hosted an event on Friday, May 18.
For this event Champions (Area Manager Thea Pace, Site Director Ronnie Marinoff and Site Teacher Anne Puccio) partnered with Marlboro’s Green Team and the Shade Tree Committee and planted two Dogwood trees in the front of the school. In addition the students planted basil seeds in organic planting cups (made from recycled newspaper by the Memorial Champions students).
Mayor Jonathan Hornik and Dr. David Abbott attended the event.
The objective of the afternoon was two-fold--to promote outdoor activities in the Champions program (celebrating the Garden State outdoors!) and to encourage sustainability. The primary activity was the planting of two Dogwood trees. Children learned about the importance of trees for our environment, picking species that are hardy for our area and wild life that are supported by local growth.
The two pink flowering Dogwood trees were obtained and donated by the Marlboro Township Shade Tree committee (lead by Jeff Weiss). Also provided by Shade Tree were small buckets and shovels that were used by Champions students in the planting of the trees.
The Champions students each suggested a name for the trees and 2 names were picked out of a hat—Pinky, and Bob.
The Champions theme of the week was “Going Green” so in preparation for the event, the children had compost ready using the week’s snacks – mostly apple and banana peels-- to put in the ground to help the trees grow. During the process of planting, Mayor Hornik worked with Team Bob, and Dr. Abbott worked with Team Pinky! Everyone pitched in and the trees were planted successfully!
The students were also exposed to the benefits of growing food locally and buying from local producers thanks to Adrianne Spota, Captain of Marlboro Township's Green Team. Champions planted basil seeds provided by the Green Team in the organic newspaper cups with the intention or replanting in a bigger pot or in the ground at home.
After planting the basil seeds the children celebrated with a fun snack --“dirt” made with chocolate pudding, crushed chocolate cookies and gummy worms as well as a Happy Birthday Pinky and Bob cake. Parents joined in the celebration and took home NJSACC’s handout about the importance of the event and children connecting with the outdoors and nature as well as some recipes using basil as a key ingredient! The students were able to take home their pail and shovel, a mini evergreen to plant at home, their basil seed planters…and they all made a promise to the Mayor to always visit Pinky and Bob even when they graduate from Marlboro Elementary, Middle School and High School!
For more information about NJSACC please visit http://www.njsacc.org/index.php