May springs upon us, leaving that April full moon waning while thoughts of an end to the school year begin to wax.
The last Friday in April was Arbor Day and the longstanding tradition of handing out itty bitty trees to district students took place. How many people have a tree planted somewhere near that their kid brought home from school — once small and now tall?
Each of the 1,967 students across the District’s five elementary schools received his or her very own spruce sapling as part of a decades-long, annual Arbor Day tradition, first started in the early 1960’s by Suffern Rotarian Ira Wickes, Jr.. The program continues into the present through the strong partnership of Suffern High School Interact Club, the Suffern Rotary Club and Wickes Arborists.
“This is an extremely special event,” acknowledged Alyson, a junior and the Interact Club president. “It’s a way of giving back for a lot of us who received saplings when we were in elementary school. Giving trees to younger children gives them a sense of responsibility. My brother got one and planted it and we’ve watched it grow over the years.”
Tess, a Suffern High School junior and Interact member has fond memories of receiving her own saplings as an elementary school student. “I have every single one of my trees; they’re huge now.”
“My hope is that this generates excitement and a connection with the living Earth,” said John Wickes, an active Suffern Rotarian and principal in Wickes Arborists. “Kids today grow up in such a sterile environment. The saplings give them an opportunity to be in touch with nature, to hold soil in their hands—and to make it a family experience.”
Suffern High School teachers recognized twenty students for their hard work, good citizenship and willingness to go above and beyond at the third and final 2012-13 Mountie PRIDE luncheon sponsored by the Suffern High School Guidance Department last week.
At the luncheon, teachers rose one by one to speak about the students they had nominated and to present their awards. The event has become an important tradition at Suffern High School, where teachers get to reflect on those students they see everyday.
“The Mountie PRIDE luncheon is one of our favorite days at the high school,” said Suffern High School Director of Guidance Sarah Kern. “It gives us the opportunity to celebrate the unsung heroes at SHS. The kids we honored today may not win a national academic award, but all of them make our school a better place each day.”
“It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish,” asserted math teacher Michael Cronin regarding his nominee, Caiden Martinez. “Caiden has shown me what is to be a hard-working student.”
Click here for a complete list of Mountie PRIDE winners.
A Bit of Sloatsburg Spring Cleaning
Fifteen members of Suffern Middle School’s Green Team spent several hours scouring the grounds of Sloatsburg Community Field for rubbish and recyclables in April as part of the local 2013 Great American Cleanup effort coordinated by Keep Rockland Beautiful.
Green Team co-advisor Karen Mena spearheaded the volunteer activity, which yielded several bags of trash and recyclable bottles and cans, rubbish that the Sloatsburg Department of Public Works won’t have to clean up.
Students in grades 6-8 apply for Green Team membership each fall. Mena, along with co-advisors Elio Ficarella and Robert Morgan, review applications and typically select up to 16 members per grade.
During the school year the Green Team implements several ongoing projects to protect the environment in and around Suffern Middle School. One of their most successful efforts has been persuading students to deposit cans in recycling stations positioned within the cafeteria. Once a week, students also collect bottles, cans and paper from classrooms and school property. Since the group began in 2010, the Green Team has kept nearly 170,000 bottles and cans and more than 22 tons of paper out of landfills.
Kudos to the kids of Ramapo Central Schools.
Photo caption 1 and feature photo: Montebello kindergarteners in Sharon Digga’s class proudly display their spruce saplings.
Photo caption 2: Suffern High School Interact Club members spent two afternoons individually bagging saplings for distribution at the District’s five elementary schools.
Photo caption 3: Teachers proudly acknowledged the work of their Mountie PRIDE nominees at the April 29 luncheon.
Photo caption4: Members of Suffern Middle School’s Green Team cleaned up Sloatsburg Community Field on April 13 as part of Keep Rockland Beautiful’s 2013 Great American Cleanup.
Photos and information provided courtesy of Ramapo Central Schools and Jennifer Citrolo.