Gove Elementary kids show their Earth Day spirit

BELLE GLADE — Even though Green School Coordinator Ellen Smith was out of town, Gove Elementary School staff still made efforts to keep up their “Ribbon School” status for next year.

Ms. Smith plans to retire this year, “and the team leader that has replaced me was overloaded. But we wanted you to see the efforts of our school in the name of green and Earth Day!”

Along with planned events for the observation involving every grade, she said on April 17, “We are doing a color walk next Friday to celebrate and have the students walk the campus to recycle, pick up litter and observe all the wonders in green that we are developing around our campus.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
The Glades Green Market was a project put on by Glades Day School and the Glades Central High School Raiders FFA.

The school is a Green Ribbon School for 2018 that also just received notice it’s earned the recognition for another year.

Gove Elementary School’s Earth Day Project for 2019 included these activities:

Pre-K: Recycle the Rainbow — Students are collecting used and broken crayons and sending them to a company that makes new crayons out of the old ones.

Kindergarten: They’re building birdbaths and feeders.

First grade: These kids are putting together an “outdoor classroom (green furniture).”

Second: Children are making bird feeders.

Third: Classes are studying and placing air plants.

Fourth: These students are doing Crayola marker recycling.

Fifth: Recycle Rangers are collecting recycling bins and weighing them in and out to graph how much recycling Gove is doing. They will then analyze the data and offer suggestions to increase recycling and decrease waste, as necessary.

Sixth: Making planters (juice boxes) — sixth-grade classes recycled juice boxes from the afternoon snack time to create beginning planters for various plants and vegetables.

Fine Arts: Students made a display of a quilt with photos of projects.

Ms. Smith said were notified by email Tuesday, April 16, from Lauren Butcher of Florida Atlantic University on their renewed status.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Ellen Smith from Gove called it a “fantastic United Way event Saturday morning (March 9) when they had the first Glades Green Market at Glades Day School with the FFA Champions GCHS Raiders and GDS students mentoring Gove Elementary and Lakeshore Middle School kids. Thanks were sent out to the Florida Crystals Corp. Community Foundation and Palm Beach United Way.

It read, in part: Congratulations from the Green Schools Recognition Program! Gove Elementary has maintained its status as a 2019 Green School of Excellence! Thank you for continuing to be a model of environmental stewardship and sustainability for Palm Beach and Martin County schools.”

It went on to alert the school’s representative and team to an honors luncheon: “To celebrate your school’s ongoing commitment to being green, we invite you and your team to attend the 2019 Green Schools Awards on Thursday, May 16, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.”

That event will be at FAU’s Carole and Barry Kaye Auditorium and Live Oak Pavilion (777 Glades Road, Boca Raton). Each school is allowed to bring up to 10 representatives. There, Gove will receive its 2019 Green Schools Recognition Program banner and certificate. The message went on:

“Our Master of Ceremonies will recognize our schools’ many green accomplishments and announce this year’s special awards: over 20 Judges’ Choice Awards, Green Principal, Teacher, Student, and Facilities & Food Service Staff of the Year Awards, and the Top Green Schools of 2019!”
School must be registered to attend by Monday, May 6.

Chris Felker can be reached at

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