Students and teachers at Dr. Edward L. Whigham Elementary School in Cutler Bay staged a large-scale event on Thursday, Apr. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., to celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day, National Parks Week and Global Youth Service Days.
Called the Environmental Extravaganza, the special observance featured student-led environmental presentations and displays, student artwork, performances by WAVE Academy
students and the Whigham Elementary School Choir, plus a showerhead and light bulb exchange conducted by the Dream in Green environmental group, which promotes conservation and environmental sustainability.
There was a craft corner showing how to make bird feeders from recycled materials. The event was attended by nearly 200 people, including Cutler Bay Councilmember Mary Ann Mixon. Student presentations included such topics as a Mangrove Propagule Station, Our Coral Reefs, Composting, Ocean Gyres and The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Green Rangers & Recycling, Problem with Plastics, and Recycle to Help Animal Shelters. Also included was the presentation of awards to 16 Fairchild Challenge student participants.
Science teacher Adrian Delesdernier, who was Whigham’s Teacher of the Year for 2011- 12, helped coordinate the event and described the purpose of it.
“The Extravaganza was part of Global Youth Service Days and a Youth Service America grant, a State Farm Good Neighbor Grant, to celebrate student initiated service learning, which began with the school’s World Wetland Day cleanup at Black Point Marina in February,” Delesdernier said. “Students worked on projects featuring environmental issues facing us locally and globally.”
WAVE is an acronym for Whigham Aquatic Visionary Explorers, which is a Destination Academy at the School. The event continued an ongoing effort to increase awareness among students of environmental problems and encourage a responsible approach to solutions.
As part of the Fairchild Challenge for Schools, the event was used to accept donations of old small electronics, computers, printers, computer equipment, a/v equipment, batteries, laptops, copiers, fax machines and cell phones for recycling.