By Julia LeDoux, Pentagram Staff Writer April 26, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - A recycling fashion show, planting flowers and learning to take care of the earth have one thing in common this week.
That's how a group of select 3rd and 5th graders from Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington celebrated Earth Day April 23 on the Henderson Hall portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
"We want to share a good time with you on Earth Day," Headquarters & Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps Henderson Hall Commanding Officer Col. Ira Cheatham said to the students. "We want you to have fun and make the Earth better.
"How many earth's do we have?"
"One," came the response.
"We've only got one so we've got to take care of it because it has to last forever," Cheatham said. "That's what Earth Day is about, making sure it lasts forever."
The students were broken into groups designated as Alpha, Bravo and Charlie and spent about 35 minutes taking part in three activities. Fun with recycling, led by Erica Ramos of Marine Corps Family Team Building, focused on recycling, reusing and repurposing by having the students make an outfit out of recycled items. They then modeled their creations in a fashion show.
"The outfit that I have on, everything that you guys see on here is a recycled item, plastic bags, paper bags, flowers, tissue paper," Ramos said.
The students dove into a bevy of recycled newspapers, aluminum foil and other items to come up with their costumes.
"What I think it is, is a mix between a pirate, Robin Hood and a witch," said 5th grader Ben Jacob of his costume.
Ramos said in addition to being fun, the fashion show was also a learning experience for the students. "There's more than one thing that we can do with something that we would normally throw in the trash can," she explained. "We can reuse and remake and make fun things and have fun and dress up and have a great time."
Wanda Gooden of the Directorate of Environmental Management demonstrated how the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay have become polluted in her activity, titled "The earth takes care of itself and I can help."
"We're trying to get them to see the problem," Gooden said.
Students and Marines had the opportunity to get their hands in the dirt when they planted flowers and spread mulch around the Marine Corps Exchange marquee.
"Planting is my favorite because I got a whole flower to plant," said 5th grader Cameron Davis.
Lance Cpl. Angelique Todd, H & S Battalion, learned a little something about gardening right along with the students.
"I never planted anything before, it's my first gardening," she said with a laugh.