Bushy Park does many things to reduce the amount of waste in the school. The greatest impact comes from our student driven recycling program. Students from fifth grade collect recycling materials from the blue bins in each classroom on a weekly basis. In addition, each year the school has collected ink jet cartridges for recycling.
The Bushy Park Leo club has collected eyeglass for reuse in the community. The Leo Club meets monthly and does may other activities such as canned food drives, animal shelter collections. In 2013, they encouraged the school to collected pull tabs from cans for the Ronald MCDonald House.
Our RECC students reduce waste daily by eating snack off of a washable placement and drinking water out of reusable plastic cups with their names on them.
Waste Reduction in the Art Classroom
Our art students collect and reuse many different types of containers to store art supplies. They also conserve paper and reuse scraps as well. Students also use old markers for certain effects instead of disposing of them.
Re-purposing Materials for Art and Music with Mrs. Follmer
Over 50 first graders participated in seminars making art out of recycled materials in 2012-13. In November, students made box displays filled with recyclables selected from a class assortment to imitate the famous artist Joseph Cornell.
In the spring students made maracas, drums, finger cymbals, tambourines , guitars, rain sticks and chimes out of materials collected and reused at school to make a band.
Many teachers hold an annual book swap in which students bring in used books to trade with friends or donate to the classroom. The students enjoy receiving used books from each other and sharing. This is a way to reduce consumption of books. In 2013, the wellness committee also started a DVD and Book Lending Library for staff use.
80 Teacher Desk Lamps were purchased to reduce the amount of energy used in the classroom after when students are not in the room.
Bushy Park Elementary installed new switches for lights that turn on and off automatically using motion sensors. All light bulbs were replaced with a more efficient light bulb inside the school and out.
Building Design A large percentage of classrooms have natural light so that artificial light is not always necessary. Especially in our Media center where the lights are only used on cloudy days.
Staff and Students Conserve Many of our teachers instruct students to only use half of the provided lights on a daily basis. The students enjoy working in natural or low light instead of the bright florescent. The students have kept the turn off the light signs up in the classrooms as a reminder to turn off lights.
Technology Shut down Students are responsible for making sure all computers and printers are shut down in the lab after each use. Students are assigned to check the entire area after each visit in the computer lab. Many teachers assign students to shut down printers and computers in the classroom as well.
Walking Field Trips
Bushy Park takes advantage of the parks and community close to the school. Grades pre-k through 3rd take walking field trips to the library, the Gary Arthur Community Center and the Glenwood Fire Station.
On-Site Field Trips
RECC students were visited by Eric Energy a high energy interactive program. Students learned about the environment and weather. They saw vortex fog rings, streams of air and a sound changer.
Other on site field trips include visits with our first graders from Master Gardeners of Maryland. The Master Gardeners make presentations several times a year. In 2013, the topics were spiders, bats, worms, frogs and salamanders. These on site presentations save us the cost of busing and reduce our carbon footprint (schedule below).
Second graders have a hands-on experience with insect expert Kay Taub each year. Students learn about different insects and how they are help the environment thrive.
BPES RECC and many other RECC programs in the county, have regular classroom visits twice a month with Ms. Julia to come and do kinesthetic learning lessons with the students. Ms. Julia incorporates song and movement into her lessons to keep the students actively engaged in learning (schedule below).
The Bushy Bear Dash (and Walk-a-thon) The main fundraiser for the PTA for the past two years! 100% of the money collected funds PTA activities and events - classroom enrichment, school assemblies, Family Fun events, and much more! Every student was be able to participate in the fundraiser and parents are invited to come and cheer on their child during their grade level special arts time on Thursday, October 24th. Students were sponsored to run or walk in the event and a great time was had by all. This is a healthy initiative and prevents the selling of products in the environment through other fundraisers such as selling wrapping paper.
Bushy Park’s Walking Wednesdays! Walking Wednesdays is a PTA-sponsored walking program for our students that takes place during recess on Wednesdays. The students walk or run around cones spaced out on the field next to the playground. 5 laps = 1 mile. The focus is getting the kids moving and having fun! How far or how fast is not important. To encourage participation, incentives are offered at the end of the fall session and awards are given out at the end of the school year. Many students enjoy participating in this activity.
Staff Wellness Wee walk is a walking program designed for staff to promote wellness amongst teachers. Wee Walks occur on a weekly basis on Thursdays. The staff also participates in a weekly healthy eating initiative through soup and salad days. The school also holds weight watchers meetings to keep staff on track for a healthy lifestyle (committee minutes below)
Jump Rope for Heart Bushy Park contributes to the American Heart Association each year and promotes exercise through Jump Rope for Heart. Students are sponsored to jump rope by family and friends.
Promoting Good Hygiene School Nurse Denie visits many classrooms to discuss germ prevention every year. Each student participates in a hands on experiment with germ lotion and a black light. Students learn the importance of hand washing to prevent illness and stay healthy. Kindergarten visits to Groh, Follmer 3/20/14, 2/7/14 First grade visits Bohn, Lambros, Hogan, 1/23/14, 1/30/14 Second grade visits Payne, Powell, Rerhig, 2/24/14, 3/10/14 Third Grade visit Keats, 2/21/14