E-Club helps kids go green


McKenzie Metzger

M. Metzger

South Lebanon Elementary School is going green and working towards a healthier lifestyle for their students and teachers.

SLE teacher, Kathy Titleman, originally developed e-Club fifteen years ago. Teacher friend, Janet Scruby, assisted her. After Titleman retired, Julie Elder, third-grade teacher, stepped up to help.

E-Club holds meetings every other Monday. They meet in the science lab. The first thing the students do is collect each teacher’s recycle bin. They are divided into teams to go collect. After collecting, they sort and separate recyclables.

“It’s important that they know what’s recyclable or what’s not,” Scruby said.

After collecting recycle bins, the students do whatever activity is planned that day. E-Club does things like reusing old Christmas cards to make new ones and making pine-cone bird feeders. The club also hosts guest speakers (such as Amy Pong). Scruby says that the recycling is a main focus of the class.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle, that’s really our cornerstones.”

In order to get into the club, the students had to fill out an application. There are 46 students in E-Club this year.

The club has multiple goals set for the future. It has hopes of incorporating more work into the community next year. The students want track pollinators outside and grow vegetables in the near future. Scruby and Elder want to eventually incorporate environmental factors into the classroom and get kids to understand the importance of their actions in the environment.

“We really focus on environmental stewardship.” Scruby said.

At the end of last year, SLE has built multiple garden boxes as part of the E-Club. The garden is located behind the school near the playground. The wood for the garden boxes was donated by Dayton Reclamation and is refurbished wood.

The teachers originally took charge of the gardens but this summer they want the kids to be the caretakers. The first week of March will be planting season for the students. Then in the fall, they will harvest the vegetables. Scruby and Elder say that there is a multiple step process to grow the veggies.

“It’s really a 7-8 week project. We germinate the plants inside—we have grow lights—and then when the vegetables are ready we will plant them outside in the garden and wait till they are ready to harvest,” Scruby said.

E-Club tries to find the cheap ways to do things, such as rain barrels and milk jugs to water the plants.

Elder and Scruby said that Loveland Elementary’s gardens were the original inspiration. JF Burns recently contacted SLE with an interest of creating a garden.

The two teachers hope that this new garden will be the start of a healthier path at SLE.

“Sustainable agriculture, this is where food comes from,” Scruby said.

They hope that E-Club will create a sense of pride and understanding of the earth around students. Scruby says that she is amazed that so many kids are willing to come and collect trash and save the earth.

“Good Earth citizen’s seeds,” she said.

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