The Briargrove Elementary School Kids for Saving Earth (KSE) Club wrapped up a fabulous fourth year in 2013-2014, and is ramping up for a fantastic fifth year for the 2014-2015 school year! Kids, parents, and teachers alike are welcome to come be educated, inspired and empowered to protect and appreciate our environment by joining hundreds of thousands of KSE kids and grown-ups all over the planet working together to care for the Earth. KSE students learn to create a sustainable Earth through active participation in conservation activities and engagement in instruction and presentations by dynamic and environmentally-conscience speakers.
The club, an integral part of Briargrove’s Eco-Action Team, meets every other Wednesday afternoon from 3 – 4 PM in the Science Lab (Ms. Felton’s room) or the outdoor classroom adjacent to the main entry (weather permitting). KSE is open to Kindergarten through Fifth Grade (K – 1st must be accompanied by parent). Parent volunteers are welcome and encouraged weekly! For information, contact Becky Luman. Keep a watch on our website for upcoming activities for the 2014-2015 school year (below). You, too, can be a Defender of the Planet!
What is Kids for Saving Earth (KSE)
KSE is the world’s leading children’s environmental organization. KSE was founded in 1989 by an 11 year old boy, named Clinton. Clinton was a nature lover, an inventor, and a dreamer, and his biggest dream was for a clean and healthy Earth. As a student at Sunny Hollow Elementary in Minnesota, Clinton cared deeply about the environment. He believed children, working together, could help protect the health and beauty of the Earth, so he started a club called “Kids for Saving Earth.” Clinton never got to see his dream come true. He died less than a year later, at the age of 11, from a brain tumor.
But Clinton’s dream lives on because his family and friends promised to keep his idea alive. They established KSE as a non-profit organization, dedicated to helping children of all ages unite with friends to peacefully help protect Earth’s environment. Please visit the Kids for Saving Earth calendar to find lots of neat ideas for you to protect your Earth.
KSE at Briargrove Elementary School
The first four years of the KSE Club at Briargrove serve as proof that BG students are committed to saving our Earth. KSE kids were instrumental in implementing and improving recycling at our school, gathering recyclables from the grade pods and hosting curbside recycling events, helping Briargrove collect over tons and tons of recyclables, thus conserving trees, oil, gasoline, water, and electricity. KSE encouraged using ‘FEET NOT FUEL” as they, in conjunction with the Jogging Club, held monthly Walk-Bike-Scoot to School Days. KSE continues to introduce dynamic speakers to our school, educating us on protecting, conserving, and respecting our natural resources, cleaning up our water, building with sustainability in mind, and learning bicycle safety.
The upcoming year will be another active one for BG KSE! Our theme this year is “All About Water!” Water gives us life and can take it away…it is one of our Earth’s most precious resources, so it is up to us to protect and conserve it, and learn to respect its powerful forces! Water is a fixed resource that is integrally connected to everything we do in work, school, and play. KSE will explore water’s interconnections to our world and how it relates to the three NWF Eco Schools Pathways BG plans to maintain and complete this year…["Consumption & Waste” (completed/maintaining) and “School Grounds” and “Energy” (new)]…taking action as we strive to becoming a NWF Green Flag Eco School!
Please see the following calendar of events, below, for BG KSE activities posted to date, and check back for updates whenever you get a chance! Keep reading for past activities, and feel free to offer your own ideas for a speaker or activity!
Briargrove Elementary School KSE Activities 2014 – 2015
Fall 2014 (meets every-other week; does not meet on early dismissal days)
September 10: Welcome to Kids for Saving Earth! Join veteran BG KSE Kids as we welcome newcomers to our BG KSE Eco-Action Team! Discover the history of Clinton Hill and his vision of starting Kids for Saving Earth, recall the history of the BG KSE Club, recite the KSE Promise, and be inspired to take action! Learn about this year’s KSE theme, “All About Water!,” read Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, and participate in brainstorming how we can work together to conserve and protect water in everything we do at Briargrove to help us achieve our BG goal of becoming a NWF Green Flag Eco School!
September 24: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting. Please join us on Saturday for the Green Apple Day of Service…see below.
September 27 (Saturday): Green Apple Day of Service. KSE Kids and their parents are encouraged to join our Briargrove Elementary Roadrunners for Briargrove’s 2nd Annual Green Apple Day of Service. Developed by the The Center for Green Schools at the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Green Apple Day of Service gives us the chance to transform our schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient, and productive learning environments where students enjoy healthy air to breathe, where energy and resources are conserved, and where our children are inspired to dream of their own bright futures. On this day, we will bring together our BG teachers, students, staff, administration, and parents along with members of our community to improve and enhance our schoolyard gardens, orchards, outdoor classrooms, and outdoor playground areas. To see a summary and pictures from the day, click HERE.
October 1: Leave No Trace and Fishing. Join KSE as we welcome Michael Scherer, Texas Parks and Wildlife Angler Education Program as he and his good friend, Mr. Whiskers, lead an interactive discussion on what a fish does all day, how they deal with water and habitat changes, and the importance of keeping our water ways clean to maintain healthy habitats for our fish and fowl!
October 15: Solar-Powered HydroPlanter. Join KSE as we welcome Jacob Martin, Old School Produce as he introduces us to our newest Briargrove garden, the Solar-Powered HydroPlanter. Designed and built using reclaimed construction materials by Old School Produce, the planter recirculates water using a pump system powered by the sun! Mr. Martin will remind us of the importance of healthy eating and conserving natural resources through the use of this innovative tool at Briargrove!
October 29: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
November 5: Regular KSE Meeting. Speaker/Activity TBD
November 12 (Special KSE Meeting!): Join KSE as we welcome Kayla Krueger, Texas Wildlife Association, presents Where Is Our Water?—Aquifers Uncovered, an interactive program that covers the water cycle, from rainfall to infiltration into our aquifers. KSE students will be able recognize the impact a glass of water has on our Texas aquifers, rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. KSE Kids will provide their own input and help create a desktop aquifer for the classroom to keep and use in future scientific experiments.
November 19: Regular KSE Meeting. Speaker/Activity TBD
Briargrove Elementary School KSE Activities 2013 – 2014
January 8: First week back at school…no KSE Meeting
January 15: What’s the Buzz? All About Bees. Join KSE in welcoming Ms. Nancy Greig, Director, Cockrell Butterfly Center as she leads us in an informative and interactive discussion on honey bee biology…understanding their importance and dispelling myths. Come prepared to join in hands-on beekeeping activities, including looking at and tasting honey, inspecting beeswax and propolis, and checking out beekeeping equipment. Learn the relevance of the honey bee to our entire food chain, why our honey bee population is declining, and what we can do to help bring back our honey bees. Enjoy some photos from the day!
January 22: The Essence of Nature: Bring your own pinecones and join KSE to welcome Ms. Lisa HoLung from our community partners, Whole Food Market Woodway as she leads our KSE Kids in making beautiful and fragrant pinecone hangings to enhance any room. She will introduce us to natural, essential oils, and explain how synthetic fragrances are often not identified on labels and sometimes contain chemicals that are linked to cancer, asthma, and other childhood diseases. Choose your favorite natural oil scent and leave with a healthier decoration that will give your home a lovely aroma!
January 29: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
February 5: Sustainable Houston! Join KSE as we welcome Ms. Lisa Lin, Sustainability Manager with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability as she shares with us how the City of Houston is working harder than ever to make our town great! Lisa will fill us in on the progress Houston has made with initiatives that improve our air, land and water quality; and support renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, recycling, bike sharing, electric vehicles initiatives. She will also show us how we as citizens can do our part to help!
February 12: Ozone Theater. Join KSE as we welcome Ms. Tifani Pust, Artistic & Educational Programs Director at Air Alliance Houston. Ms. Pust will use drama-based educational techniques to introduce students to the concept of air pollution, the difference between clean air and dirty air, and the difference between good ozone and bad ozone. Students will get up on their feet and move around as they act out various sources of air pollution and as they learn the colors of the Air Quality Index, the scale EPA uses to indicate the amount of pollution measured in the air at any given time and location. Enjoy some photos from the day!
February 19: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
February 26: Galveston Bay – Our Local Treasure. Join KSE to welcome Ms. Rachel Barski, Educational Coordinator for the Galveston Bay Foundation as she leads us on a discussion on the key features and importance of our local treasure, Galveston Bay – one of the world’s most productive estuaries. She will use an interactive floor map to show our KSE kids where the bay is, introducing us to bay area habitats and wildlife, the importance of wetlands and oyster biology, and the detrimental effects of pollution on Galveston Bay. She will also help us understand what we can do to ensure that Galveston Bay remains a beautiful and productive place for generations to come. Enjoy some photos from the day!
March 5: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
March 12: Books Between Kids. Join KSE as we do our part to spread reading across Houston by helping the BG Caring and Sharing Committee move, stack, and sort the Books Between Kids books Briargrove students have collected as part of this City Wide effort to promote reading for all. For more information about the origination of Books Between Kids, including its purpose and evolution, please read HERE.
March 19: Spring Break…no KSE Meeting.
March 26: Earth Day Artwork. KSE kids will use their artistic talent to paint, draw, and/or otherwise create signs (on previously used materials) promoting Earth Day to be proudly displayed at our school.
April 2: Butterflies! Join KSE in welcoming Ms. Nancy Greig, Director, Cockrell Butterfly Center as she shares with us her knowledge of butterflies. Learn about the amazing world of butterflies, and how these beautiful, delicate creatures, live and thrive in their habitat, and what you can do to create your own backyard butterfly garden.
April 9: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
April 16: Nano Nano Everywhere. Join KSE to welcome Ms. Latrice Babin, Environmental Toxicologist & Special Project Manager for Harris County Pollution Control Services Department. Ms. Babin will lead our KSE kids on an informational discussion regarding nanotechnology that is in products we use and wear while we are totally unaware. Students will learn of technology breakthroughs and uses that enhance our lives, and also of the probable, future implications/impacts nanotechnology could have on our health and the environment. Students will leave understanding items in their lives that involve nanotechnology.
April 23: BG Gardens Beautification Day. Continue our celebration of Earth Day, by joining KSE as we learn about and visit our Briargrove orchard and butterfly gardens. Listen to our own BG Mom and Garden Guru, Ms. Ellecia Knolle, talk about the importance of gardens & orchards to provide us fruits and veggies, and provide habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies. Stroll through the orchards & gardens, soak in some sunshine, and select a tree to draw, documenting its height, diameter and leaf structure. Enjoy seeing the benefits of all our BG hard work in planting & maintaining our orchard & gardens.
April 30: Wrigleys Litterless Campaign/NWF EcoSchools. Join KSE as we review the results of the school-wide Waste Audit, conducted as part of our BG participation in the Wrigley’s Litterless Campaign, and develop an Action Plan to continue our recycling and waste minimization efforts to help BG become a National Wildlife Federation Eco-School. See how KSE kids compare to other students in recycling in the classroom, recycling at home, recycling correctly, and using reusable water bottles and lunch equipment. Provide your KSE ideas on how we can continue to minimize waste and “Recycle Right!” at Briargrove.
May 7: Climate Change and Human Activities. The Earth’s climate is changing, and people’s activities are the main cause. While climate change involves many complex interactions, the basic science behind the greenhouse effect is not all that complicated! Join Briargrove dad (also environmental professional and author) Daniel Lieberman, Senior Advisor for Environmental Stewardship, Chevron Upstream Oil and Gas, to learn how gases like carbon dioxide keep our planet warm enough to sustain life on earth, and why earth’s surface temperatures are now warming faster than ever before. Together, let’s explore what this all means for the future of our species, how much of it we as individuals are responsible for, and what we can do about it.
May 14: Investigating Life Cycles. Join KSE to welcome Ms. Lynnsey Dohmen, wildlife biologist from the Texas Wildlife Association as she presents an inquiry-based program for investigating life cycles. KSE students will learn that every organism has a unique life cycle, get to investigate life cycle models, and record their observations, all while learning the characteristics that allow a plant or animal to grow into a mature adult.
May 21: BG Eco-Slogan Vote and KSE End of Year Celebration. Help wrap up our year of eco-action and activity by joining us at our final meeting of the year. The KSE Club, which has become an integral part of BG’s Eco-Action Team will vote on an Eco-Slogan for our school. We will also enjoy reminiscing about the activities of our year with photos and interaction with friends, and help plan for a wonderful 2014 – 2015 KSE Year. All KSE Kids who have participated in KSE activities in the 2013-2014 are welcome to join in our end of year celebration. Please bring a yummy, healthy treat to share & enjoy!
And the Eco-Slogan winner is…
BG Roadrunners…Racing to Save our Earth!
KSE FALL 2013 ACTIVITIES:
August 28: First week back at school…no KSE Meeting
September 4: Defenders of Our Planet! Join KSE as we recap our BG KSE 2012-2013 year, recall the story of Clinton and his vision of starting Kids for Saving Earth, recite the KSE Pledge, and enjoy a video of our KSE Activities during the 2012-2013 year. Wrap up the day with some fresh air and yoga in our outdoor classroom lead by our very own KSE Mom/Yoga Guru, Ms. Dinee Peters-Bell.
September 11: Urban Runoff Challenge. Join KSE as we welcome Ms. Karen North, former HISD computer science teacher and long-time Commission Member of Keep Houston Beautiful. She will introduce us to the process of design thinking to help protect our Earth and keep it beautiful. We will learn about the City of Houston Urban Runoff Challenge, create our own watershed, and begin thinking of ways we all can help our city prevent pollution in stormwater runoff! Click HERE for pictures from the day.
September 13 (Friday…a school holiday): Briargrove/Whole Foods Kids Day of Service. KSE Kids and their parents are encouraged to join our Briargrove Elementary Roadrunners and our wonderful partners, Whole Foods on Woodway to help prepare a butterfly garden at the school. Expect a fun-filled day of service and inspiration as we celebrate healthy communities and healthy eating together!
September 18: Gardening & Juicing. Join our very own KSE Mom, Ms. Dinee Peters-Bell as she leads us through our BG Edible School Yard to pick delicious, fresh vegetables! She will then show us how to blend our harvest to create healthy, tasty juice. Come learn how to teach your family to use fresh fruits & veggies to create your own family’s special drink! Also, show us your KSE muscle power and move some bricks for the upcoming Green Apple Day of Service (see September 28).
September 25: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting. NOTE: KSE Parents & students please plan on join us at Briargrove on Saturday, September 28, as we host Briargrove’s 1st Green Apple Day of Service…see below.
September 28 (Saturday 8 – 11 AM): Green Apple Day of Service. As a follow up to the Briargrove/Whole Foods Kids Day of Service on September 13, the KSE Kids will host Briargrove’s 1st Green Apple Day of Service, developed by the The Center for Green Schools at the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Green Apple Day of Service gives us the chance to transform our schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient, and productive learning environments where students enjoy healthy air to breathe, where energy and resources are conserved, and where our children are inspired to dream of their own bright futures.
Click HERE for photos from the day…see below for a description of our day!
Green Apple Day of Service – Briargrove Style! On Saturday, September 28 Briargrove Elementary School participated in its 1st Annual Green Apple Day of Service. Initiated by the USGBC Center for Green Schools, Green Apple Day invites us to transform our schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient, and productive learning environments where students enjoy healthy air to breathe, where energy and resources are conserved, and where our children are inspired to dream of their own bright futures. At Briargrove, we used of over 8,000 lbs of repurposed materials from Houston’s ReUse Warehouse to spruce up our school’s butterfly gardens, orchards, and outdoor classrooms. We also distributed healthy cleaner to our teachers, courtesy of our community partners, Whole Foods Market Woodway. Our work gave us the opportunity to educate our community that reusing construction materials, rather than sending them to a landfill, is a wonderful way to save money and protect our Earth. We can also create healthier classrooms using greener cleaners.
October 2: Skins & Skulls. Join KSE to welcome Ms. Lynnsey Dohmen, wildlife biologist from the Texas Wildlife Association as she presents on wildlife conservation and natural resource education. She will help us understand the importance of a clean Earth to give wildlife animals a healthy place to live, and will bring animal skins & skulls for us to see and touch. Click HERE for photos from the day.
October 9: Recycle Art Day. Join KSE as we prepare for Briargrove ES’s participation in our third Recycle Bowl Competition, our third Green Cup Recycling Challenge, and our fourth America Recycles Day! Learn how to help implement recycling during our school carnival. Be creative in painting signs using reused materials to help publicize our various recycling events & promote recycling at our BG School Carnival.
October 16: BG KSE Greens Halloween! Join KSE as join kids across the country in learning tips having a Green Halloween! Exchange ideas with your KSE friends as to how to take care of our Earth by having and Eco-friendly Halloween and have fun making fun, tasty, Halloween treats. Check out ideas on how to celebrate a Green Halloween!
October 21 to November 15: Recycle Bowl Competition. Briargrove Elementary School is registered to compete in the third annual national Recycle Bowl Competition sponsored by Keep America Beautiful. This year, we focus our recycling energy on our internal recycling efforts, competing against schools from across the nation in the “Schools” category…meaning we concentrate on getting recycling right at BG! The competition runs from October 21 – November 15, during which time the KSE Club encourages our students, teachers, staff, and community to make an extra effort to recycle! The school that collects the most recyclables by weight in the Nationwide Community Recycle Bowl category wins $1,000, so help BG bring home the prize!
**See the BG Recycles page for more information on recycling at Briargrove**
October 23: Field Trip to Waste Management’s Gasmer Educational Center. Our KSE Kids will visit Houston’s newest state-of-the-art material recovery facility (MRF), Waste Management’s Gasmer MRF and experience how co-mingled recyclable materials are brought here to be sorted for reuse. WM Educational Guides at the Gasmer Educational Center will walk our KSE Kids through the recycling process in a safe environment, explain the benefits of recycling to protect our Earth, and show our KSE Kids cool, new stuff that is made from recycled materials. Click HERE for photos from the day!
October 30: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
November 4 – December 16: Green Cup Recycling Challenge. Briargrove is registered to compete in our third Green Cup Recycling Challenge, where we challenge our entire school community to ReThink Waste & Recycle Right! We will use the month-long contest to raise awareness about recycling and waste reduction, clarify expectations with signage and demonstrations, and improve our recycling rates. Our very own BG students will survey each classroom’s trash and recycling bins on a weekly basis, to see how well we recycle amongst our own classes, grades, and schools across the country. The Challenge will generate excitement around recycling and encourage good habits of life-long environmental attentiveness.
November 6: Life’s Bounties and Garden Cycles. Join KSE as we welcome Ms. Pat Greer, founder of Pat Greer’s Kitchen and co-founder of Central City Co-op. Pat will share her heartfelt gratitude for life and its bounty and engage our KSE kids in discussing garden cycles…introducing and taking them full circle on a journey with fresh fruits and veggies that are locally-sourced, raw-fully prepared, organic, tasty, nutritious, and ultimately, compostable. She will also lead our KSE kids in creating their own tasty nutritious, delicious, organic snacks. Click HERE to enjoy photos from the day!
November 13: KSE Celebrates America Recycles Day! Join KSE as we celebrate America Recycles Day by focusing on the 3-Rs…Reduce-Reuse-Recycle….and adding a fourth…ReThink! We’ll go over the hierarchy of the original 3Rs; consider why we need to ReThink the way we look at waste; talk about our KSE experiences at Waste Management’s Materials Recovery Facility field trip (and write thank you notes!); discuss the various recycling competitions we are currently participating in at BG; wrap up our Recycle Bowl Competition; talk about America Recycles Day and BG’s upcoming participation in Wrigley’s Litter Less Campaign; and brainstorm as to what we can do to continue reducing waste at our school.
November 15: America Recycles Day! KSE will help BG wrap up our participation in this year’s Recycle Bowl Competition and celebrate America Recycles Day! Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. It is one day to educate and motivate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year. KSE kids will communicate our Recycle Bowl Competition efforts and show how we did in comparison to the past few years! Let’s work together to make recycling bigger and better at Briargrove in 2013-2014!
November 20: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
December 4: Native Prairie Grasslands – Finding Our Place: Join KSE as we welcome Jaime González, Conservation Education Director, of the Katy Prairie Conservancy. Jaime will guide our KSE kids on an interactive discussion of the ecologically vital, Gulf Coast native, tallgrass prairie lands and wetlands, and take us on a journey to help us find our own place in Houston history.
December 11: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
December 18: Warriors of the Wild. Join us as we welcome back the Warriors of the Wild as they lead our KSE Kids in an active hour of conservation/habitat awareness. Get ready to participate in an interactive discussion and get up off your seat, move, and learn!
Briargrove Elementary School KSE Activities 2012 – 2013
KSE Activities Spring 2013
January 16: Be a Star & Auditor in the Same Afternoon! Join KSE as we kick off Briargrove’s participation in the Green Cup Energy Challenge, the largest K-12 electricity conservation competition in the world. KSE kids will survey our school to check for ways we can conserve energy by turning appliances, computers, and lights off. We will also create a video to show on BGTV to announce our participation in the Challenge. This is an awesome way for our KSE kids to help Briargrove, Houston, and our Earth by educating our BG teachers, students & staff to conserve energy, which saves our City money and helps our environment!
Please check out & vote for our BG KSE Kids video to win the Green Cup Energy Video Contest!
January 23: Be a Farmer & Chef in the Same Afternoon! Join KSE as we work in our Edible Schoolyard. We will harvest its bounty, create a fresh, healthy salad, & prepare a special dressing from its goodness. Come out and see how it has grown this year and how our Earth feeds & sustain us when we take good care of it!
January 30: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting. NOTE: BG parents are welcome to attend a brief presentation from our BG invited speaker, Steve Amos, Founder of the Green Ribbon Schools program at 1 PM in the multi-purpose room.
February 6: Guest Speaker from One Green Street. Join KSE as we welcome guest speaker, Ms. Sherry Eichberger from One Green Street. She will introduce us to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, discuss how single use plastic is filling up our oceans and damaging our eco-system, and share thoughts and solutions. Ms. Eichberger is the founder of One Green Street, an Eco-Friendly retail store in the Houston Heights as well as founder of EcoEDG, Ecological Education with an EDG. Her talk promises to be entertaining, moving and educational.
February 13: Guest Speaker from Texas Wildlife Association. Join Lynnsey Dohmen, wildlife biologist from the Texas Wildlife Association as she teaches us all how to “talk turkey!” Did you know wild turkeys were almost extinct in the United States? But thanks to our human efforts to help save them, there are now millions of turkeys in the United States again. We will learn this story, all about turkey behavior and will even make a turkey caller to take out into the wild and ‘communicate’ with those wild turkeys!
February 20 (early dismissal day): Field Trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve - The Briargrove Kids for Saving Earth Club is pleased to host a field trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve. The purpose of the trip is to introduce our KSE kids and other BG students to the wonders of nature, the beauty of our State, and the importance of the work of The Nature Conservancy in protecting the prairie lands along our Texas Gulf Coast. The Field Trip will include a guided tour by Nature Conservancy experts, a walk amongst the prairie lands, and a tour of the Prairie Preserve’s facility to educate our Briargrove Students on why the coastal grasslands found here are so vital to the natural resilience of the Gulf Coast, and what we can all do to protect them. Enjoy pix from the day!
February 27: Guest Speaker, Mr. Glenn Buckley. Join KSE as we welcome Mr. Glenn Buckley, Board Member of Keep Montgomery County Beautiful and Boy Scouts of America Texas Stream Team Trainer as he leads us in a lively discussion, “Oh Deer!” Mr. Buckley will introduce us to the interactions of deer, including their food, water, and habitat, and the roles of predators and hunting. Be prepared to get up, move, and learn! Enjoy some pictures from the day!
March 6: Earth Art! Join KSE as we discuss nature in & around our BG School Yard. Collect signs of nature, including colorful, unique leaves & flowers from our BG Edible School Yard, and test your partner’s knowledge of the items collected. Then, create your own piece of Earth Art with the items gathered.
March 13: Spring Break…enjoy your vacation!
March 20: Guest Speaker, Mr. Glenn Buckley. Back by popular demand, join KSE as we welcome Mr. Glenn Buckley, Board Member of Keep Montgomery County Beautiful and Boy Scouts of America Texas Stream Team Trainer as he leads us in a lively discussion on wetlands and “Migration Headaches.” Mr. Buckley will introduce us to the importance of wetlands and the issues our migratory water fowl encounter due to shrinking wetlands. Be prepared to get up, move, and learn!
March 27: Earth Day/Books Between Kids Art. KSE kids will use their artistic talent to paint, draw, and/or otherwise create signs (on previously used materials) promoting Earth Day to be displayed at The Nature Conservancy’s booth at Earth Day Houston (see April 14 entry, below). KSE kids will also paint signs publicizing the BG Books Between Kids book drive, sponsored by BG’s Caring and Sharing Committee, to be held April 8-11.
Join KSE in participating in month-long, school-wide Earth Day (Month!) activities, including the Books Between Kids, A Berry Earthy Fun Run, Walk-Bike-Scoot Days, KSE special guest speakers, and The BG/Nature Conservancy Earth Day 2013 Picnic for the Planet!!
April 3: Ozone Theater (KSE Guest Speaker) – KSE guest speaker, Tifani Pust, Artistic & Educational Programs Director at Air Alliance Houston will use drama-based educational techniques to introduce students to the concept of air pollution, the difference between clean air and dirty air, and the difference between good ozone and bad ozone. Students will get up on their feet and move around as they act out various sources of air pollution and as they learn the colors of the Air Quality Index, the scale EPA uses to indicate the amount of pollution measured in the air at any given time and location.
April 10: Kids for Saving Earth Field Trip to Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. KSE Students will visit the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. The purpose of the trip is to provide our KSE kids the opportunities to visit this 155-acre urban nature sanctuary to explore nature by walking on its trails, searching for turtles, frogs, birds, and other animals. We will also visit the Nature Center’s Discovery Room which offers hands-on interactive exhibits, microscopes, touch screens and more for learning about the habitats and plant and wildlife found at the Center.
April 14 (Sunday): Earth Day Houston 2013 Celebration. Briargrove Elementary Students will help The Nature Conservancy with their booth at the Earth Day Houston 2013 Celebration. Prior to the day, our KSE kids will paint Earth Day signs (using previously use cardboard boxes) to help publicize Earth Day and decorate the booth, and on the day, our students will help host an interactive Earth Day activity at the booth.
April 17: Guest Speaker from Houston Electric Cars – KSE guest speaker Rick Ehrlich, owner of Houston Electric Cars, will give us a history of the e-car, describe the advantages of the e-system over internal combustion and the limitations, discuss pollutants/carbon gases generated from different vehicle-types, and provide a big picture of USA production/ imports & future possibilities. We will get to see, touch, touch and sit inside an e-car!
April 20 (Saturday): 1st Annual Berry Earthy Fun Run! KSE Kids are encouraged to join in BG’s 1st Annual Berry Earthy BG Fun Run. In combination with our BG Earth Day Celebrations, this Fun Run is planned to raise money for the Berry children, a neighborhood family whose parents were lost in a tragic, and for our Briargrove children, with the goal of funding a track on the kindergarten playground to be used to teach our children about the importance of exercise, setting goals, healthy living, graphing, and team work. KSE Kids will help ensure we protect our environment and minimize the use of natural resources during the run by providing recycling, waste removal, and water filling stations.
April 24: Guest Speaker from Whole Foods Market – KSE guest speakers Lisa Holung and Concierge Terri Klotz from the Woodway Drive Whole Foods Market will speak on the importance of ocean sustainability, organic farming, healthy eating, and/or the WFM Whole Kids Foundation. Wrap up the day by enjoying a tasty treat, ”Briargrove Bounty” trail mix, made especially for our KSE Kids by Whole Foods! Enjoy a few pictures from the day!
April 26 (Postponed from April 19): 3rd Annual BG/Nature Conservancy Picnic for the Planet. Briargrove Elementary School will once again team with The Nature Conservancy to hold the Earth Day 2013 Picnic for the Planet. The Picnic for the Planet is a way for our BG students to connect to the Earth…learning that our Earth gives us our food, water, and shelter, and we in turn must take care of it. KSE Kids are encouraged to invite their parents and teachers to join them, and set and example by bring a healthy lunch for a picnic on our school field to celebrate being outdoors with a lunch packed to create little or no waste by using reusable lunch containers, cloth napkins, and reusable water bottles.
May 1: Guest Speaker from Merrick & Company. Join Dr. Alan Propp, Biofeuls Engineer from Merrick & Company as he teaches us the importance of clean and renewable energy, biofuels, and energy chains. Be prepared for an interactive discussion and to make you own biogas reactor and create your own favorite energy chain. Merrick & Co. is committed to sustainable design and construction practices as well as the sustainable and renewable initiatives of the organizations they belong to including: US Green Building Council, Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, American Wind Energy Association, Cleantech Open, Renewable Fuels Association. Enjoy some photos from the day!
May 8: BG Orchard Research! Join KSE as we tour our recently planted Briargrove Orchard. Choose a tree that you’d like to watch grow over your years at Briargrove (and beyond!), research the species, collect interesting facts and samples from the tree, and create your own tree log. Also, check out the ripe blueberries, inspect the Edible School Yard, and enjoy the gorgeous Texas Spring Day!
May 17: Yoga & Juicing! Join KSE as we welcome our very own Briargrove mom and yoga guru, Dinee Peters-Bell, instructor at Yoga Ananda. She will lead us in a session of fitness & relaxing yoga! Be prepared to learn new moves, stretch, and enjoy with your KSE friends!
May 22: Guest Presentation….Warriors of the Wild - Back by popular demand, join KSE as we go on a journey with The Warriors of the Wild into a world of conservation and sustainability…where we will learn how to make a difference in the world of tomorrow! The Warriors of the Wild will show our KSE kids through interactive activities how they can make a difference in the world around them, and at the end of the presentation, the Warriors will help us make natural bird feeders.
Briargrove Elementary School KSE Activities Fall 2012
October 3: Edible Schoolyard Maintenance. KSE will meet in the Library and join our Edible Schoolyard representatives to help with our BG gardens.
October 10: Recycle Bowl Art Day. Join KSE as we paint signs to help promote BG’s participation in our Second Annual Recycle Bowl Competition and publicize recycling at Briargrove during our School Carnival. See below for competition & carnival details. Please check out our KSE pictures from the day!
October 15 to November 9: Recycle Bowl Competition. Briargrove Elementary School is registered to compete in the second annual national Recycle Bowl Competition sponsored by Keep America Beautiful. We are competing against schools from across the nation in the “Community” category…meaning we will happily accept recyclables from school, our students’ families, and our neighbors! The competition runs from October 15 – November 9, during which time the KSE Club encourages our students, teachers, staff, and community to make an extra effort to recycle! KSE kids will hold two curbside recycling events to accept recyclable materials from students as they arrive at school at the two drop-offs and at the walkers entrances on November 7 & 14 (see these dates, below, for details). The school that collects the most recyclables by weight in the Nationwide Community Recycle Bowl category wins $1,000, so help BG bring home the prize!
**See the BG Recycles page for more information on recycling at Briargrove**
October 17: Carnival T-shirt Recycling Painting. Bring an gently used t-shirt and join KSE as we learn how to help implement recycling during our school carnival and paint t-shirts to help publicize recycling at our BG school Carnival.
October 20: Briargrove Carnival. Come to the carnival and join other KSE kids and parents to help implement recycling during our school carnival…The Greatest School on Earth!
October 24: Early Dismissal…no KSE Meeting.
October 31: Be a BG Star & a Farmer in the Same Afternoon! Join KSE as we shoot a video for BGTV to publicize our upcoming curbside recycling events (see November 7 & 14) and join our Edible Schoolyard team to help with our BG gardens.
***Enjoy Halloween! Here are some tips for having a healthy, eek-o-friendly, FUN Halloween!
November 1 – 15: America Recycles Day. KSE will help BG wrap up our participation in this year’s Recycle Bowl Competition and celebrate America Recycles Day! Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. It is one day to educate and motivate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year. KSE kids will encourage all BG families to get involved by bringing your recyclables to school on November 7 and 14! Let’s work together to make recycling bigger and better at Briargrove in 2012!
November 7 (***7:00 AM***Note Morning Meeting Time***): Curbside Recycling. KSE will collect recyclables from our BG families at the walkers’ entrance and the two school or drop off locations. On this date, we will collect our normal BG school recyclables (paper, plastic (#1-5 and #7), aluminum & metals). We will also start our week-long BG participation in CompuCycle’s What If? E-Recycling campaign. The What If Campaign is a goal to safely collect & divert 500,000 lbs of e-waste from entering our environment in 60 days.
**See the BG Recycles! website for more tips on recycling at Briargrove**
November 14 (***7:00 AM***Note Morning Meeting Time***): Curbside Electronic Waste (e-Waste) Recycling. KSE will help BG wrap up our school’s What If? efforts with a final curbside e-recycling collection at morning drop off. CompuCycle will be at our school with their cool truck to pick up the e-recyclables our students have collected through the past week. The back parking lot will be open after 7:45 for parents to drop off larger items that are requested to not be delivered during the curbside events. Students will receive pencils and stickers to commemorate America Recycles Day!
November 28: Recycle Competition Summary & Water Conservation. Join KSE as we talk about the amount of recyclables we collected during our various fall recycling competitions and the importance of recycling to conserve our Earth’s natural resources, including water. We’ll discuss water…how essential it is to life, and how imparative it is to keep it clean and to conserve it! We’ll also experiment how much water is wasted by leaving the faucet on when brushing your teeth. Show your commitment for protecting the Earth by picking up and wearing your KSE Pin!
December 5: Edible Schoolyard Maintenance – Join KSE as we work outside to maintain our Edible Schoolyard, and check the progress of its growth since we planted October 31. Then, plant your own seeds to take home & watch grow.
December 12: Visiting Author Marie Elena Cortes – Join KSE as we invite Author Marie Elena Cortes, founder of the writing club Kids Write to Know whose mission is to discover and celebrate the power of thinking on paper. Ms. Cortes will inspire us to share our KSE message of protecting our Earth and KSE Kids will paint signs be displayed at the upcoming Kids Write to Know Day on December 15.
December 19 – Jan 9: Happy Holidays…Have a great Eco Friendly Time! We’ll have our next KSE Meeting on January 16, 2013. See you then!
BGE KSE Activities 2011-2012
September 9: Kids for Saving Earth Kick-off Meeting – Come be educated, inspired, and empowered to protect the environment. Hear about the background and history of the Kids for Saving Earth Club, recite the KSE Promise, and learn how last year’s KSE activities at Briargrove positively impacted the environment!
September 16: Guest Speaker from Republic Services Recycling – Join KSE as we welcome guest speaker, Ms. Adena Jones of Republic Services, our HISD liaison for recycling education and implementation.
September 23: Guest Speaker from Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition Wildlife Center – Join KSE as we welcome the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition Wildlife Center. TWRC will introduce us to their Virginia Opossum, “Frodo,” discuss human’s impact on wildlife, and inspire our students in ways to coexist with our wild neighbors.
September 30: Walk/Bike/Scoot to School Day – KSE will team with the Briargrove Jogging Club to hold the first monthly Walk/Bike/Scoot to School Day. KSE to meet at the Walkers entrance to greet students and congratulate them for using FEET NOT FUEL!
October 5: iWalk – KSE will team with the Briargrove Jogging Club to participate with other students from around the U.S. in the 2011 International Walk to School (iWalk) Day. KSE to meet at the Walkers entrance to greet students and congratulate them for using their FEET NOT FUEL! Hike it! Bike It! I like it!
October 7: Guest Speaker from the Rawfully Organic Co-op – Join KSE as we welcome Ms. Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, founder of the Rawfully Organic Coop, to speak on the human health and environmental benefits of eating raw, organic fruits and vegetables.
October 14: Recycle Art Day. Come be creative and help make signs and crafts to publicize recycling at Briargrove during our Carnival and our Recycle Bowl Competition.
October 15: Briargrove Carnival. Come to the carnival and join other KSE kids and parents to help implement recycling during our school carnival…Boot Camp B*A*S*H!
October 28: Walk/Bike/Scoot to School Day – KSE will team with the Briargrove Jogging Club to hold the monthly Walk/Bike/Scoot to School Day. KSE to meet at the Walkers entrance to greet students and congratulate them for using FEET NOT FUEL!
October 17 to November 12: Recycle Bowl Competition – Briargrove Elementary School is registered to compete in the first ever national Recycle Bowl Competition sponsored by Keep America Beautiful. We are competing against schools from across the nation in the “Community” category…meaning we will happily accept recyclables from school, our students’ families, and our neighbors! The competition runs from October 17 – November 12, during which time the KSE Club encourages our students, teachers, staff, and community to make an extra effort to recycle! KSE kids will hold weekly curbside recycling events to accept recyclable materials from students as they arrive at school at the two drop-offs and at the walkers entrances on October 21 & 28 and November 4 & 11. The winners of the Nationwide Community Recycle Bowl Competitions $1,000!
**See the BG Recycles page for more information on recycling at Briargrove & the upcoming curbside recycling events**
November 11: Recycle Bowl Competition/America Recycles Day – KSE will collect recyclables curbside to wrap up our Recycle Bowl Competition and to celebrate America Recycles Day. This week, our recycling emphasis will be on aluminum cans. Please separate your aluminum cans and place them in a clear plastic bag so that we can turn them in to make money for our school. Students will receive pencils and stickers to commemorate America Recycles Day! See the BG Recycles! website for more tips on recycling at Briargrove. Remember: iCAN Recycle!
November 18: Join KSE as we welcome a Guest Speaker from Keep Houston Beautiful to discuss how human activities contribute to pollution in storm water and provide tips as to what we can do to prevent storm water pollution. KHB will also lead a hands-on demonstration on storm water pollution purification. KHB is our city’s leading organization in beautification, litter reduction, and recycling education. For 30 years, KHB reached out to all segments of our community to educate and empower individuals to take greater responsibility for beautifying and enhancing Houston’s environment.
November 30: Walk/Bike/Scoot to School Day – KSE and Briargrove Jogging Club team again WEDNESDAY to hold the monthly Walk/Bike/Scoot to School Day. This month, we wrap up our celebration of America Recycles Day (ARD), so join us and pick up your recycling handout when you enter the walkers’ entrance on November 30. KSE/Jogging kids dress warmly and meet at the walkers’ entrance to congratulate students for protecting our Earth by using FEET NOT FUEL! and reminding them that BG Recycles!
December 2: KSE will meet in the library to help our school and the environment by counting & wrapping HEB bags. BG students and their families have been turning in their plastic HEB bags all year to be recycled to make money for our school ($1 per pound). The reprocessed, recycled bags are used to produce new Enviro-Bag trash and tall kitchen garbage bags. Most importantly, though, the old bags do not end up in the environment or in a landfill.
December 9: Join KSE in the library as we welcome guest speaker Bill Goloby from the City of Houston Wastewater Operations Department. Mr. Goloby will show us what happens to the dirty water in our homes that magically disappears down the drain. He will show us how it is treated so that both the dirty stuff and the cleaned water are recycled back into the natural environment. We will be visited by a special mascot and have an interactive discussion with tips on how we can help the process work better by “Corralling the Grease!”
December 16: Join KSE in the library as we welcome guest speaker Jaimie Gonzales, from the Katie Prairie Conservancy for an interactive discussion on our native Texas Prairie lands. Prairies are essential to provide biodiversity, improve water quality, and absorb floodwaters. Mr. Gonzales will share with us the importance of prairies, the need to save the remaining open prairie lands, and offer tips and techniques for reversing prairie losses and planting new prairies.
December 23, 30, and January 6: Winter Break! Enjoy your holidays and have a wonderful, healthy, & green time! Here are some quick links to tips for helping you protect yourself & the Earth during the holidays!
January 13: Join KSE in the library as we take the KSE Pledge, make individual commitments to protect the Earth, discuss our favorite KSE activities during the Fall 2011, and enjoy a slideshow of our KSE activities in 2011 & 2012.
January 20: Join KSE as we welcome our own student Lyda Arnold and her mom, Adriane, as they teach us how to check labels for palm oil: it’s in food and cosmetics, and it’s destroying orangutan habitats! See what you can do to make a difference!
January 27: Walk/Bike/Scoot to School Day – KSE to meet at the walkers’ entrance to greet students and congratulate them for using FEET NOT FUEL!
February 3: Human Planet: Oceans (Video) – Join us in the library as we view BBC’s video examining the amazing, complex, and challenging relationship between nature and humans.
February 10: Guest Speaker from The Nature Discovery Center – Join us in the library as we welcome Ms. Anne Eisner to present on Scales and Tales…Reptile Awareness. Ms. Eisner will provide an interactive discussion on these cold-blooded creatures, and introduce us to her favorite snake & turtle!
February 17: Guest Speaker from Houston Audubon Society – Join us in the library as we welcome Ms. Bethany Foshee, Coordinator, Docent Programs at the Houston Audubon Society Edith L Moore Nature Sanctuary to present Nature Detectives…Clues to Finding Animal in your own Back Yard. She will introduce us to clues we can use to find animals around our homes, parks, and neighborhoods, and share with us live millipedes & beetles, a tree frog, snake, and turtle.
February 24: Walk/Bike Scoot to School Day – KSE to meet at the walkers’ entrance to greet students and congratulate them for using FEET NOT FUEL! See BG’s W-B-S website for tips to make the day a success.
March 2: Guest Speaker from CenterPoint Energy’s Energy Efficiency Program: Join us in the library as we welcome guest speaker Ms. Cheryl Bowman, Program Manager of CenterPoint Energy’s Energy Efficiency Program. Ms. Bowman will discuss the importance of conserving energy at school, including best practices and what we can all do to help conserve energy at Briargrove. She will also fill us in on the positive effects that conserving energy has on the environment.
March 9: Guest Speaker from One Green Street. Join us in the library as we welcome guest speaker, Ms. Sherry Eichberger, as she introduces us to DOT and inspires us each to Do One Thing that is good for you and good for the planet! Ms. Eichberger’s store, One Green Street, was recently awarded LEED Silver certification, and she was recently honored by City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker and community leaders on March 8 for her accomplishment!
March 23: Bicycle Safety! - Join KSE on the blacktop as we welcome guest speaker Regina Garcia, Bike Texas & Bike Houston, to give us an overview on bicycle safety skills. She will review bicycle rules, safety gear, and tips to make our neighborhood safer for biking and walking. In addition, she’ll discuss the benefits of bicycling to improve our health and well-being, as well as the health and safety of our community.
March 30: Walk-Bike-Scoot to School Day – KSE to meet at the walkers’ entrance to greet students and congratulate them for using FEET NOT FUEL! See BG’s Walk-Bike-Scoot website for tips to make the day a success. KSE kids will also paint signs that will be used to promote conservation for The Nature Conservancy’s booth at Earth Day Houston at Discovery Green on April 7.
EARTH DAY…A MONTH-LONG CELEBRATION AT BRIARGROVE!!
Participate in a month-long, school-wide Earth Day activities, including the Green School Challenge, planting, curbside recycling, special displays, & guest speakers, The Great BG Book Exchange, and The BG/Nature Conservancy Earth Day 2012 Picnic for the Planet!!
April (Kick-Off!): Briargrove has committed to participating in the Houston Independent School District’s Green School Challenge (GSC)! As part of our Earth Day Celebration our Principal, Debi Russell, will introduce our students, teachers, administration, and parents to the GSC, and provide eco-facts to our students on a daily basis to encourage reduction in energy, water, and waste, and an increase in recycling!! Stay posted to the Buzz as to how you can help or participate in the BG GSC team.
April (all month): Green Cup Challenge, sponsored by the Green School Alliance. Use your KSE recycling skills to help Briargrove win his nation-wide challenge! Through April, we will all work together to ensure recycling is implemented correctly at Briargrove. To do this, we will take weekly surveys of our recycling boxes and trash bins to see if trash has been put in recycling bins, or recyclables have been put in the trash. We will submit our information weekly to the Green School Alliance, but we will also compete between classes to see who
April 6: School Holiday! See you next week!
April 13: Guest Speaker from Whole Foods Market – Join KSE as we welcome our friend Lisa Holung from the Woodway Drive Whole Foods Market to teach us about Whole Food’s sustainability goals. Learn about the importance of using reusable or paper grocery bags instead of plastic, and what other sustainable measures Whole Foods has implemented to reduce their footprint on the environment!
April 20: Guest Speaker from the Texas Wildlife Association – Join KSE in the Science Room as we welcome guest speaker Mary Pearl Meuth, Education Program Contractor, Texas Wildlife Association, to present on wildlife conservation and natural resource education. She will help us understand the importance of a clean Earth to give wildlife animals a healthy place to live, and will bring animal skins & skulls for us to see and touch.
April 20: The BG/Nature Conservancy Picnic for the Planet. Join us at lunchtime as we team with The Nature Conservancy to hold the Earth Day 2012 Picnic for the Planet at Briargrove Elementary School. The Picnic for the Planet is a celebration of the Earth we live on and the natural gifts it provides. We invite all students, parents, teachers, and administration to join us on the BG grounds to celebrate our Earth through the food we love and the people we enjoy sharing it with!
April 27: Walk-Bike-Scoot to School Day – KSE to meet at the walkers entrance to greet students and congratulate them for using FEET NOT FUEL! See BG’s W-B-S website for tips to make the day a success.
May 4: HEB Bag Recycling - KSE will meet in the library to help our school and the environment by counting & wrapping HEB bags. BG students and their families have been turning in their plastic HEB bags all year to be recycled to make money for our school ($1 per pound). The reprocessed, recycled bags are used to produce new Enviro-Bag trash and tall kitchen garbage bags. Most importantly, though, the old bags do not end up in the environment or in a landfill.
May 11: Guest Speaker from Houston’s Green Building Resource Center – Join us in the library as we welcome guest speaker, Mr. Steve Stelzer, LEED® AP, as he explains the importance of LEED® certified buildings to the people who occupy them and to our Earth. In particular, Mr. Stelzer will help us understand how students, parents, faculty, and staff benefit from the healthy environment of schools constructed following USGBC’s LEED® Rating System, and show us how our own Grady Middle School will be certified under the LEED® for Schools Rating System. Briargrove and Grady Parents are welcome & encouraged to attend!
May 18: Guest Speaker from Warriors of the Wild - Join us in the library as we go on a journey with The Warriors of the Wild into a world of conservation and sustainability…where we will learn how to make a difference in the world of tomorrow! The Warriors of the Wild will be showing our KSE kids through interactive activities how they can make a difference in the world around them.
May 25: Walk-Bike-Scoot to School Day – KSE to meet at the walkers’ entrance to greet students and congratulate them for using FEET NOT FUEL! See BG’s W-B-S website for tips to make the day a success. KSE kids will also work to keep Briargrove beautiful by picking up trash in our school playground.