April 19th dawned a hot, beautiful day - perfect weather for Nea's large, family-style Earth Day Festival!
I say "family-style" because each class, and each grade, were encouraged to create their own booth to share with the larger Nea community (K-10, plus family and other community supporters). As one can imagine, the booths were as diverse as the creative learners (students) and facilitators (teachers) who had fun making them.
At the Eco-Monster Booth (from the Kindergarten class) - learners were encouraged to draw their own "eco-monsters", or creatures who had magical powers to fix the environment. One artist, for example, chose to draw a creature who eats plastic, to help reduce litter and marine debris.
In the Aqua Lounge (from the 5th grade) - learners who answered a certain number of eco-themed quiz questions correctly,were rewarded by pulling a lever to douse teacher Matt Nolan with a bucket of water!
Over at the Seed Planting Booth (from a mixed team of 6-10th graders) - learners were able to choose from a variety of wildflower seeds to plant in reused milk cartons (a very thrifty way to "recycle" them!)
Soda Can Bowling(from the 4th grade) - learners enjoyed this timeless pastime with a reuse twist: by aiming for a pyramid of soda cans instead of traditional pins.
The Bike Riding Workshop (from BikeAlameda) - helped learners practice their bike skills in a safe setting, with bikes and helmets loaned from BikeAlameda.
It was a fantastic, highly energetic event! Learners from the entire school, some with their faces painted, raced around to try each booth, while those in charge of an activity proudly assisted their peers. Seeds were planted, learners took crafts home, Matt got thoroughly soaked - it was a wonderful, and timely, example of Nea's unity and creativity, especially as the school prepares to expand and divide into two campuses for 2011-12.