Earth Day News at Matthew Paterson

Earth Day may be celebrated just one day a year but the fourth graders in Janine Avitabile’s reading class at Matthew Paterson Elementary School find ways to reduce, reuse and recycle all year long.  

For Earth Day they made magazine covers – on a digital platform, not wasteful paper -- to show how small acts can have a big impact on the planet.  

Layla made a magazine cover called “Saving the Earth” which featured a story about her magic cup.   

“Whenever we are going to water the plants, we grab the magic cup,” she said. “We use the same cup every time, so we don’t have to throw it out or wash it.” 

Alessia, who is known for creating projects for her room, said her mission was making art out of plastic bottles.    

Addison made a special “Stop the Littering” issue of her magazine. The magazine noted that Addison’s mission is picking up litter at a local park.  

Then they discussed some startling facts: it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose and 500 years for a plastic toothbrush to decompose. 

As part of the Earth Day lesson, Avitabile gave each of her students a pair of toothbrushes made from bamboo, which decomposes naturally.  

Matthew Paterson Principal Jennifer Darling stopped by Avitabile’s class to see the magazine project and was so impressed with what she learned – 500 years for coffee pods to decompose – that she invited the students to tell the entire school about their conservation efforts.  

“We can start trying to spread the word during morning announcements,” Darling said. “You could give the facts about what you learned here. We can get the whole school to reduce, reuse and recycle.”