Tonight at 8:30 p.m., an international movement called Earth Hour takes place. For an entire hour, people around the globe will turn off their lights in solidarity with the planet.
It may only be an hour for most people, but at in Wayland, teachers and students spent the entire week learning about the earth and preparing for their own school-day Earth Hour on Friday morning from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Sue Adair is the director of education for the entire Goddard School organization. She said the 370 franchises of The Goddard School throughout the country were encouraged to participate.
“It’s teaching the children the importance of taking care of our environment,” Adair said, explaining that Goddard School accepts children from 6 weeks through 6 years old. “It’s all about saving energy, recycling, taking responsibility for the earth’s environmental well-being. We need to be focused on raising earth-friendly kids and help them understand how to ‘go green.’”
At the Goddard School in Wayland, teachers designed a variety of earth-friendly activities for the kids, including a fashion show with "clothing" made from recycled materials, "fishing" for trash in buckets of water, creating recycling bins for each classroom and painting a giant lightbuld cutout using pieces of scrap paper and paper towels instead of brushes.
While fun and creativity were important, ultimately the goal was education. The goal was certainly achieved in the Pre-K Two class where students responded to a number of their instructor's environmentally-themed questions.
"Why we shouldn't throw trash in the water?" the teacher asked.
"We shouldn't throw trash in the water because the fish eat it and it's not good for their tummies," responded True, a student in the class.
"Why are the lights off right now?" the teacher asked in the midst of the school's own Earth Hour.
A chorus of "we're not wasting electricity" filled the room in response.
The response doesn't surprise Wayland Goddard School Director Jan Tiger. She has a son in the school herself, and she knows he is understanding the week's events. She said he even came home one day and "scolded" her for starting to throw away an item that could be recycled.
“They do get it," Tiger said. "I think it’s never too young. The more kids are exposed at a young age, in a way that's appropriate to them ... As the children get older, it’s something that becomes innate to them.
"When they learn at a young age, it’s something they will do naturally on into adulthood.
The official Earth Hour takes place tonight from 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.