By Devin Dziuk
Members of the Beta Nu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa planted a tree Nov. 14 at Will Rogers Elementary School in cooperation with Operation Green, the school’s environmental awareness program.
This is one of four trees the chapter has arranged to have donated.
The trees that were planted on the playground were paid for by L&M Bookstore in the amount of $600.
They were bought from Virginia Twins Gardening Market, and the labor was donated by Texas Size Landscaping along with three trees planted previously.
This program started after members of the Beta Nu chapter were discussing ideas to help in the community.
Laura Montgomery, teaching assistant at Will Rogers Elementary, posed the idea of planting trees at the school at 620 Mcilvaine St.
“The playground had no shade for the kids; now they will have shade and learn a little about the environment,” Montgomery said.
Principal Gloria Villalobos, said the 720 students from prekindergarten through fifth grade love to get involved with nature.
Villalobos said that mentors come from the neighborhood to read to the children, sometimes on topics such as protecting the environment.
“We are excited that the students are going to have a nicer playground,” Villalobos said.
Second grade bilingual science teacher Guy Byerley teaches his class the importance of the environment.
In the classroom, students learn about leaves and roots, but when the students get outside is when the real fun happens.
“The kids water the plants and maintain them,” Byerley said. “The look on their faces lets me know they are having fun.”
Other plants that the class has planted are shrubs, flowers and strawberries.
President Robert Zeigler said these types of programs are necessary for young children to be able to succeed in college.
“It is crucial for us to reach out into the community. We want to get out the message that college is important,” Zeigler said.