SF Environmental Open House, Arts Festival A Success
The Environmental Open House and Festival of the Arts was a roaring success in spite of overcast skies. The more than 350 people that attended the event were greeted at the door by students of the Elementary Environmental Club, who were dressed in their official yellow Trail Guide T-shirts. Also at the door there were displays of the composting worms, solar panels, the wind turbine and information on recycling.
Upon entering the building, there was a PowerPoint display of Southern Fulton’s nature trail accompanied by the appropriate “down to earth music” of Julie Duggan. The art displays were coordinated with the earth theme and included Native American projects, and projects that used renewable natural resources found on nature trail such as cattail mat weavings and grapevine dream catchers. The art was displayed in the grade-level hallways along with state standards and essays by students that explained the art projects. The PTA was on hand to serve lunch and held an accompanying bake sale.
Many local craftspeople displayed there handiwork and provided hands-on activities for the students. There were wool and alpaca hair spinners, a rug weaver, wood turning on a foot-treadle lathe, scrapbooking, cake decorating, card making, and Ryan Ickes and Cindy Flaherty did fly-tying and face painting. Former teacher Linda Smith demonstrated her skills at basket making.
The REI Co. that makes outdoor equipment for hiking and camping provided a No Trace Ethics activity for the students called PEAK(Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids). This activity was a scavenger hunt in which the kids had to locate an item that represented each of the 7 Leave No Trace Principles, which are 1) plan ahead and prepare, 2) travel and camp on durable surfaces, 3) dispose of waste properly, 4) leave what you find, 5) minimize campfire impacts, 6) respect wildlife, and 7) be considerate of other visitors.
The down-to-earth, relaxing atmosphere that the event provided encouraged visitors to stay and participate in many of the activities and visit with old friends and make new acquaintances. Many positive comments were expressed by both presenters and visitors who are looking forward to another environmental open house and art show next year.
The open house and art show provided a great opportunity for the school to show the community the integrated curriculum provided students and at the same time foster community involvement in the school which is a vital component of Department of Education Policy.