What an incredibly busy day it was today!
First off, it was the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day. I hadn't realized it, but The first Earth Week debuted on April 16 to 22, 1970, in Philadelphia. U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie, author of the historic Clean Air Act of 1970, was the keynote speaker on Earth Day in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia in 1970. “Other notable attendees included consumer-protection activist and presidential candidate Ralph Nader, landscape architect Ian McHarg, Nobel Prize-winning Harvard biochemist George Wald, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott and poet Allen Ginsberg,” reads Wikipedia. As an interesting side note, Ira Einhorn , the infamous "Unicorn Killer" was a co-founder of the day.
Secondly, it was "Take Your Child to Work Day." Originally termed "Take Our Daughters to Work Day", the day was founded by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women in 1993.
The day has generally been scheduled on a day that is a school day for most children in the United States. When I see the large number of children out of school participating in events of a dubious educational value, I have to ask why. Why do we do this during the school term instead of during vacation time? Why do we have children in elementary grades - specifically K - 3 participate? Why have parents taken this to mean it is "Take your child out to lunch day"? Perhaps this needs to be rethought as to its purpose and effect.
Finally, the biggest part of April 22nd in my classroom was Play day. It was the day my students performed The Great Kapok Tree for parents and guests after many hours of prop creation, costume conception and rehearsals - many, MANY rehearsals. I am proud to say that each and every one of my students performed magnificently! I am amazed at how well they rise to a challenge. From the soft-spoken shy student to the extra-energetic one, they all memorized their lines and acted with emotion and power. I like to think, that if given the same opportunity at that age, that I too could have pulled off what they do. But truthfully, I don't know that I could have. Bravo students of room 213!!