Return to Headlines

Students, Parents Enjoy Earth Day program

English as a New Language students and their families celebrated Earth Day early on April 7 at Alden Place Elementary with fun and educational activities.

ENL Teachers Alissa Kelly and Giselle Aldarondo planned the event with activities for students and parents that included planting seeds and creating posters about taking care of the Earth. The posters were displayed at school until late April. Additionally, Evelyn Garzetta, Mark Clizbe and Adelle Dennis from Northeast Dutchess Immigrant Services spoke about resources available to the community.

“It was nice to watch parents pick up the paintbrush,” Kelly said. “We do try to keep these activities engaging by making them very hands-on.”

Kelly has organized ENL events for 10 years which are typically held in the fall and spring. This spring’s theme proved to be perfect timing as Earth Day was two weeks later. 

“It was close enough to Earth Day to turn it into a theme,” Kelly explained. “We try to keep these events fresh.”

Staff from other schools in the district, administrators and some of Kelly’s former ENL students came to show their support.

“Even though this is a smaller community, there’s still so much support from parents and teachers,” Kelly said. “Giselle and I are appreciative of that support.”

Aldarondo found students most enjoyed planting a sunflower because they got to take it home and building a sculpture out of cornmeal while trying to prevent weathering.

“The kids had so much fun,” Aldarondo said. “It was cute seeing their faces light up.”

Parents enjoyed interacting with each other after being apart for some time due to COVID.

“We didn’t want it to feel like it was just another day at school,” Aldarondo said. “It was not only nice for the kids, but for the parents too.”

Second grader Fernando Saavedra Lopez most enjoyed painting and feels it is very important to take care of the Earth. 

“We need to take care of our world and make our world safe,” Saavedra Lopez said.

Second grader Alison Perez Gomez most enjoyed building the cornmeal structures and planting the sunflowers.

“I chose plants because I can do it all by myself,” Perez Gomez said. “And I chose painting because I love to paint.”