In celebration of Arbor Day, third and fifth graders from Monroe Avenue Elementary school in Hamlet planted three River Birch trees at Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy on Thursday, as some of the Earth Science students watched.
Arbor Day is typically celebrated on the last Friday in April, but due to weather, the celebration was postponed until May 2. This year’s theme was “Look to the Forest.”
Sheila Sellers, president of the Hamlet Tree and Beautification Club, said the tree planting and Arbor Day teaches the children what trees contribute to the environment.
The trees are grown from seedlings that the fifth graders from Monroe Avenue planted when they were in the third grade. According to Sellers, the current third graders just planted trees in the nursery that is located at Monroe Avenue and maintained by the Hamlet Tree and Beautification Club.
“We are so fortunate that Richmond County Schools are so supportive of the nursery,” Sellers said.
The celebration began with an introduction from Sellers followed by a proclamation read by Ninth Grade Academy Principal Dennis Quick.
Matt Gordon, Richmond County forest ranger for the North Carolina Forest Service, read a poem by Joyce Kilmer titled “Trees” and talked about the benefits of having trees. “We never think where trees come from,” he said. The children listened as he spoke of how trees prevent soil erosion and give us clean air and shade.
The event also had Tyrone Harris, art teacher at Monroe Avenue, give out first, second and third place awards to the fifth grade poster contest winners.
First place winner was Giselle Silva, second place was Juan Carlo and third place was Omarion Mason. First place won $25, second place won $15 and third place won $10.
The third grade students who participated in the tree planting were Efesiah Bennett, Alexis Butler, Cerina Covington, Christopher Ellerbe, Jaleak Gates, Kierstan Gibson, Kaitlyn Huff, Trevon Jackson, Brandon Paglia, Andres Sanchez, Mauricio Silva and Jihad Terry.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.