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Laurel Bay schools celebrate Earth Day

By Cpl. Jonah Lovy | Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort | April 28, 2016

Students aboard Laurel Bay held an art competition for Earth Day April 22. The competition focused on themes of conservation and was open for students at Charles F. Bolden Elementary/ Middle School, Robert E. Galer Elementary School, and Middleton S. Elliott Elementary School to submit artwork.
“This competition has been going on for several years and it’s sponsored by the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort recycling department,” said Eleanor Huey, the educational technologist at Elliot Elementary. “This year we decided to use our art teacher as our point of contact and she worked with the students over several art classes focusing on reducing, reusing and recycling. She gave them some ideas and the children just ran with it. They came up with their own drawings with the theme posted directly on the poster.”
Teresa Karlyk, an art teacher, helped the students create designs that fit the Earth Day theme. Designs ranged from depictions of green landscapes to informational diagrams on the importance of recycling.
“The bottom line is we like to see the students getting involved with taking care of the Earth,” said Huey.
The artwork was submitted to the recycling department aboard the air station for judging. The judges looked for the most visually appealing poster with the theme clearly displayed. Prizes were awarded to the top three pieces from each grade.
“I am incredibly proud of all the though and efforts that you all put into your artwork,” said Lt. Col Sean Henrickson, the executive officer of MCAS Beaufort, during the award ceremony. “It really shows your dedication to learning about how to take care of our planet.”
The competition served as an extension of the year-long Earth Day curriculum at the Laurel Bay schools. Many of the lessons are centered on the reducing, reusing and recycling theme.
“Earth day celebration reinforces everything that we do here on a regular basis,” said Latonya Leeks, the principal of Elliot Elementary. “We teach them to recycle and to conserve energy. We have a song that the children sing in the classroom about being green. It’s common practice here at the school, not just something we do on Earth Day alone.”
Students at Elliot have a special tradition to keep the campus green and create lasting knowledge.
“Typically the second grade plants a tree every year in honor of earth day and their time here at the school,” said Leeks.
Earth day is one day a year but the educators aboard Laurel Bay ensure that the importance of conservation stays with their students. Conserving natural resources is important to the Marine Corps so it also must be valued in the community.
“You all are the future,” said Henrickson. “One day it will be up to you to keep the Earth alive and pass on the knowledge that you are learning now in school. All of us have the power to make a difference. That is what Earth Day is all about.”