Celebrating Our Community

Celebrating Our Community

Friday, May 2 was a special day at Lawrence. We began with the entire school gathered outside for one of our two annual K-8 Community Meetings.  Later, during recess, the Green Team led a series of Earth Day activities in Lawrence Park called “Nature in Your Neighborhood.”  And after school, we had our Japanese Fun Fair, a much-anticipated annual event that teaches and celebrates Japanese culture.

Japanese Children’s Day

We began Community Meeting by recognizing Japanese Children’s Day.  Thanks to Mr. Nagano, giant hanging carps fluttered in the wind over the front door.  Ms. Leman’s second grade class sang “Sampo” in Japanese and English.  Akiko Sensei’s Gr. 1-3 students taught us about the traditions of Japanese Children’s Day and then sang and played recorder

Earth Day

Third grade student Lia Suk was recognized for her winning entry in a calendar art contest sponsored by Casella Waste Management.  A representative from the company presented her with a framed copy of her artwork.  Mr. Norwood’s second grade class made a presentation about spring work in the school garden.

Guest Speaker: Former Governor Michael Dukakis

We were honored to have a special guest speaker who lives in our neighborhood: former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.  Fifth grade students Aleena Atizol, Lucy Cahill, and Sara Diaz interviewed Governor Dukakis about recycling, public transportation, and his famous habit of picking up litter in Lawrence Park.  Governor Dukakis adeptly used these questions to teach students how legislation, such as the bottle bill and Brookline’s recent ban on plastic bags, can have a positive impact on the environment. He also talked about his own garden and encouraged students to take care of their immediate surroundings.  He displayed a wonderful ability to connect with students K-8 through real life examples and humor.

Nature in Your Neighborhood

Each year, the Green Team conducts Earth Day activities for students during recess. This year’s theme was “Nature in Your Neighborhood.”  The activities were intended to encourage kids to use their powers of observations to notice nature they may encounter in their neighborhood.   Here are some suggestions of things to watch for in the coming weeks:

Early May

  • Trout lilies, columbine, trillium and other woodland wildflowers appear.
  • Lilacs start to bloom.

Mid-May

  • Spring azure butterflies appear at forest edges and in gardens.
  • Height of spring warbler migration. Watch treetops and shrubbery at sunrise and sunset for these small, colorful visitors.
  • The full moon known as The Planting Moon happens on May 14
  • They may give you allergies, but all that pollen is creating the seeds for future plants!

Late May

  • Painted turtles and snapping turtles move onto land to lay their eggs. Keep an eye out for them along the Muddy River.
  • Keep an eye out for tadpoles in Hall’s Pond.
  • Do you see any inchworms? Soon they will transform into geometer moths.
  • Scarlet tanagers and rose-breasted grosbeaks return from their migration.
  • Dogwoods bloom.

Early June

  • Listen for the green tree frog chorus in freshwater marshes and ponds.
  • Sulphur butterflies emerge and fireflies begin to appear in grassy areas.
  • Watch for bats in the evening sky as they feed on insects.

Happy Spring!

Rick Rogers
rick_rogers@brookline.k12.ma.us

 

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