By Lisa Kava
On Friday morning, preschoolers from the Twin Parks Montessori-Riverside school held a parade in anticipation of Earth Day, which is celebrated today.
The parade route started at the school at 202 Riverside Drive (corner of 93rd) and proceeded to West End Avenue, continuing down West End Avenue to 92nd Street, and back again to Riverside Drive and 93rd Street.
One-hundred-and-twenty-six children participated, along with 25 teachers. As they marched, they sang songs about the Earth, carrying signs and artwork they had created in their classrooms from paper plates and popsicle sticks.
“We need to keep the earth healthy because if it’s not healthy, we’re not healthy,” said Hannah, age 4.
“I take care of the Earth. I will not touch the flowers because the bees want food and houses,” said Rafael, age 3.
The parade was the brainchild of teachers Victoria Salas-Gomez and Sarah Beckley. “We want our neighbors to know that the smallest children can make a big difference in taking care of our Earth,” Beckley said.
Twin Parks on Riverside is one of three Twin Parks Montessori Schools, all under the same umbrella but located on three separate campuses on the Upper West Side: 91st and Central Park West; 103rd and Central Park West; and 93rd Street and Riverside Drive. Children up to the age of six attend the schools, where visits to Central and Riverside Parks are a daily part of the curriculum. Teachers also organize spring “work-days” when children help clean up sand boxes and assist with mulching in neighboring gardens.
“Educating children about our Earth will help us preserve and protect it for future generations,” Susan Kambrich, Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori School, told the Rag. “The children regularly study the insects, plants, and animals of the parks.” This was the first parade organized by Twin Parks, but not the last. “We will definitely do it again!” Kambrich said.