Nixon School Second Annual Green Fair Focuses on Renewing Junk into Usable Items

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Nixon Elementary School in Roxbury Township had a beautiful fall day October 19th for its second annual Green Fair. This year’s theme: Renew and Reuse. Students were able to learn about renewable energy sources and finding ways to use household items so they don’t end up in the trash.

Students rotated between seven different sessions run by parent volunteers, staff members, and a few outside organizations. These sessions included an obstacle course and carnival games made out of large recyclable materials like large food cans, cardboard boxes, and old toys.

In addition to these games, students also were able to make Junk Bots and Rag Dolls in two different stations. These crafts were made with old household items that normally would have been thrown away or recycled. The Nixon PTA put out a call on its Facebook page for supplies to be donated saying, “We need your help to collect materials. Please scour your junk drawers, closets, attics, garages, and tool boxes. For the Junk Bots, we are in need of small metal or plastic items that would make cool robot parts. Be Creative! Some ideas are tin cans, nuts, bolts, screws, hooks, clips, springs, wire pieces, washers, string, gears, broken flashlights, broken toys that might make interesting pieces.”

Adding, “For the rag dolls we need fabric scraps that may be leftover from your sewing or quilting projects. Also acceptable is fabric from torn or stained clothing that may not be appropriate to donate elsewhere.”

The donated items came flowing in. A box was placed in each classroom to collect the materials and supplies to be used at the fair. The creativity by the students for these crafts were endless!

The three remaining sessions that the children traveled through included a special demonstration on bicycle safety with Marty’s Reliable Cycle. Megan Schmidt and Hunter O’Meara from the Hackettstown store covered the safety basics with the students including the ABC’s of a bicycle check, the proper way to ride a bike if cars are around, as well as different safety items each bike and rider should have to keep them safe like reflectors, properly fit helmets, and lights. They noted how riding a bike can also be used as another form of commuting instead of driving a car.

Another station was with Trans Options. Representatives Kristen Tomasicchio and Melissa McCutcheon explained how Trans Options works with students and school districts through hands-on environmental education programs that cover engineering, energy, and the environment. Trans Options works with our middle school on the Junior Solar Sprints competition. Kristen and Melissa had small cardboard cars, motors, and solar panels for the kids to work within teams. They went over how the gears and the wheels had to touch along with the wires necessary to get the motor working with the solar panel. Students quickly learned that just laying the solar panel flat on the cardboard car did nothing. They had to angle it to find the sun to get their motors and cars to move. Once they did, the cars took off!

The final station will provide a lasting impression for the students at Nixon School in the Husky Garden. Each child had the opportunity to visit with Denise Glenn, the Roxbury Grades 6-12 Science Supervisor who covered Nixon recently along with Eamonn Maxwell, an active parent who frequently works in the Nixon Garden. Each child received a quick lesson on planting bulbs in the garden and with the help of Mr. Maxwell, each child was able to plant a daffodil or tulip that will bloom in the garden come spring. We can’t wait to see the beautiful flowers!

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the PTA Green Team Planners and Volunteers who included Lenore Palen, Holly Guth, Christina Riesebeck, Patricia Rivera, Suzanne Mendonca, Lianne Addington, Heather Healy, Stacey Malone, Douglas Palen, Rodney Walker, Dave Lakata, Ximena Olsen, Kim Yamashita, Tiffany Lynch, Jenny Hiraman, Danielle Mohalek, Alexis Pisarczyk, and Eammon Maxwell.

The Nixon PTA posted to Facebook “What a great day we had at our Green Fair! Thank you to all of the volunteers for helping to make it possible. It’s a good day when we help our student community find enjoyment in being green!”

In conjunction with the Green Fair, the PTA also ran a clothing and small toy drive, and electronics drive. The clothing drive was a fundraiser for the PTA.

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