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Hampton City Schools teachers and students participate in Party for the Planet Earth Day celebration

Hampton City Schools (HCS) teachers and students from Burbank Elementary School, Hampton High School, Jones Magnet Middle School, and Kecoughtan High School engaged 350+ visitors in learning more about actions they can take to protect our planet at the “Party for the Planet” Earth Day. The event was held at Bluebird Gap Farm on Saturday, April 20 in advance of Earth Day. It was co-sponsored by the Hampton Clean City Commission and Bluebird Gap Farm.

Missy Powell-Riedl and her kindergarten students Hla Musallam, Aiden Shaheen, Darnell Stewart, Jr., and Landon Wood showed how they have been using the GLOBE Observer app each day to report cloud data to NASA. Her students helped visitors identify different types of clouds, including cumulus clouds and contrails. They also helped visitors repurpose toilet paper rolls to create bird feeders.

Art teacher Ashley Ault-Greene and students Jaliyah Gary-Williams, Christine Dang, Serenity Cooke, Shalise Green-Linzy, Grigorii Starodubtsev, and Micah Garner from Hampton High conducted face painting and worked with attendees to create beautiful stamped art.

Science teacher and HCS middle school teacher of the year finalist Sheryl McLaughlin and Jones students Gabriel Hooks, Nathan Ogle, and Tyler Thornburg educated the public about the importance of oysters and their work with oyster restoration. Students also shared how they have been growing plants, such as vegetables, microgreens, and succulents, both in soil and hydroponically. Additionally, they brought along their recycling bins to show how they have run the recycling program for paper and plastic in their school. At the Jones exhibit, participants created an oyster craft and colored sea life pictures.

Kecoughtan science teacher and Ecology Club sponsor Sally Lewis and students Travis Rivers, Ellery LaPointe, Olivia LeBlanc, and Hayden Woodall worked with Prism Alliance club co-sponsors and Stephanie Booz (librarian), Todd Richardson (special education teacher), and students Ruby Lackey, Mikalah Hardin, Rex (Amber) Xaysana, Dany Gaddis, and Nate Drake to illustrate the importance of pollinators. Club members helped visitors plant flower seeds in peat pots to take home and transplant into home gardens.  

The teachers and students were also able to visit the exhibits of many other community organizations such as the Hampton Clean City Commission, Bee City USA, Hampton Master Gardeners, Virginia Soil and Conservation District, Peninsula Master Naturalists, and Hampton Waterways Restoration Project to learn what they are doing to protect the environment.

Students from several Hampton schools participated in the Earth Day Environmental Arts Contest that was organized by Ault-Green with support from Ai Choo Ashe of the visual and performing arts department. A separate brief was written about these award winners and can be found here.