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Copperview Elementary Earth Day Celebration Springs Step Into Healthy Summer

Jul 01, 2016 09:08AM ● Published by Julie Slama

Copperview Elementary students ran in the school’s annual fun run on April 22 before picking up litter on the school grounds as part of Earth Day. —Julie Slama

Gallery: Copperview Elementary Earth Day Celebration Springs Step Into Healthy Summer [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


Fitness, healthy eating, improving school grounds and having fun were all part of the late April plans at Copperview Elementary.

It began with an April 21 “Fuel Up to Play 60” assembly that was designed to bring awareness to healthy eating and physical activity, said Principal Chanci Loran.

“The assembly talked about how to start the day off with a healthy breakfast and walked the students through different ways to play,” she said. “Former [University of Utah] quarterback Alex Smith video-chatted with the students in a recording, and they had a sports dietitian join in the chat.”

The assembly, sponsored by the Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada, included a dance contest between teachers and students, a fun milk-mustache contest, an appearance by cow mascot Trudy Moo and prizes, including Smith’s autographed photos.

This led into the school’s April 22 Earth Day celebration, which included the fifth annual fun run and a chance to pick up litter on the school grounds.

“I like the fun run, as it gets the kids outside and running,” fifth-grade teacher Robert Porter said. “This is the first year we’ve tied it into picking up trash, but what a great idea to get them outside and active and making our playground nicer.”

The run was one-quarter mile for kindergartners and first-graders and one-half mile for second- and third-graders. The fourth- and fifth-graders ran one mile.

“We’re encouraging healthy lifestyles by eating healthy, being active and having fun doing it,” Loran said.

Community school facilitator Jenny Landward said that this run complements their fall Turkey Trot, and although they encourage everyone to be active, they don’t concentrate on times. However, they did have prizes for top finishers.

The winners of the fun run for each grade received a beach pail full of summer activity prizes such as bubbles, jump ropes and water bottles. The top finishers included kindergartners Henri Pinto and Melanie Garcia Hernandez; first-graders Yarrell Loya Dominguez and Evelyn Jerman; second-graders Tristan Esau and Aizlynn Torres; third-graders Jaiden Cruzloya, Addison Eager and Kayla Nkoy; fourth-graders Nathan Hallum and Sasha Moore; and fifth-graders Izik Garrett, Zahid Crus Loya and Cassandra Gonzales.

Landward said that while the school usually does a spring cleanup, this was the first time to combine the two events. 

“We thought, we were running on Earth Day; why not celebrate the Earth and clean it up on that day? We handed out 23 garbage bags for the kids to fill,” she said.

Fourth-grade teacher Erin Wahlen said that students showed a lot of school pride by cleaning the grounds.

“It’s been a day of teamwork, sportsmanship cheering on their friends and pride in helping make their school beautiful,” she said. “A lot of recreational teams use our fields and with the wind, trash can blow onto our playground, so this shows the students are caring and are part of the community.”

Fourth-grader Eric Corchado said he likes to run, so finishing third place in the run was fun for him.

“I play forward in soccer and I run every day at the rec center, so this was great,” he said. “There were lots of wrappers, candy [and] cups left in our field, so we picked [them] up to put in the trash. I’m looking forward [to] taking care of the carrots I planted for our garden.”

Wahlen, along with other fourth-grade teachers and 83 students, took the celebration a step further by having students check their pumpkins, cucumbers, cantaloupe, tomatoes, carrots and jalapenos they planted in cups to prepare for transplanting them in the school garden.

“We have a soil unit and learn the importance of soil, decomposition and nutrients, so we thought, What better way than to tie it into the school garden that they can tend to this spring and summer?” she said.

On May 6, fourth-graders were pulling weeds before planting their vegetables.

Fourth-grader Coby Trivitt said that he was OK with that task.

“It helps with my upper-body muscles and it’s a good thing for our garden before we plant tomatoes and peppers,” he said. “We’re doing a good thing for our community.”

Classmate Susi Luna said the weeds were hard to pull.

“We have to really pull to get the roots out,” she said. “I’m planning on helping here in the garden this summer.”

Office staff member Lisa Christiansen helped direct the garden planting.

“This is good for the Earth and soil and it’s great for the students,” she said. “It’s a skill many of them haven’t done before and it teaches them so much.”  λ

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