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LOLPS celebrates Earth Day and puts on “Rats” musicalby Julie Druker
Photo: students at Land O'Lakes PS celebrate Earth Day with a community clean up
On Friday April 20 students at Land O’ Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove were involved in a number of school-wide activities designed to foster awareness and community action in recognition of Earth Day, which took place on Sunday April 22. Grade 4/5 teacher Kim Fournier headed up the Earth Day activities at the school and strongly believes in the importance of making students aware of environmental issues. “It’s important for so many reasons and the students are incredibly
enthusiastic when it comes to learning about the tangible things that they can do to help make a difference. Though we know that we can not turn back the clock, we do know that we can have a positive effect by making everyday changes in our lives, ” Fournier said.
This was also the third consecutive year that the school has participated in Lights Out Canada, a program started by a 17-year-old student as a way to combat climate change by encouraging schools to turn off 80% of their electric lights for the entire day. The entire LOLPS student body also took part in a school-wide community clean up. Every student donned one blue plastic glove, and armed with clear garbage bags they set out picking up garbage and recyclable materials on and around the school grounds. Classes were assigned specific areas, which included the school yard, track bed, skating rink, and Mill Road. All of the garbage collected was picked up later that day by township staff.
Later in the day the students watched a nature film about African cats in the Savannah and how their habitat is becoming endangered.
Photo: five of the 50 student member cast at LOLPS rehearse for their upcoming production of the musical “Rats”: back - Cash Matso, Bailey Paddick, Cassidy Savic; front - Savanah Gosse, Casandra Lowery
And last but not least, and as a special part of the Earth Day celebrations this year, students will be performing the environmental musical play titled “Rats: A Musical About Our Environment” on Thursday April 26 at 6:30PM. The play, written by Allan Crossley, is being directed by new LOLPS grade 3/4 teacher Chris Davison. The play tells the story of 10 generations of rats who have lived in a forest in balance with nature for over 100 years until humans show up and threaten that balance by wanting to locate a dump site there. The rats are forced to make a trip to town and along the way meet various animals who each in their way contribute to finding a solution to the problem. Close to 50 students are participating in the production, which began rehearsals in January. Mr. Davison brings to the school his flair for the dramatic arts and believes the play is particularly relevant now in the community. “With the recent new recycling and waste management changes in the township the issue of the environment is a hot subject with students and parents alike and this play has a lot to say about how to go about coming together and how each of us needs to do our part,” he said.
The students also be performing the play for visiting students from area schools.