University of Vermont

Children at Campus Center Initiate Green up Effort on Earth Day

Green up
Gloves and bags at hand, the children worked together to clean up stray litter on campus April 22.

Students from the Campus Children’s Center were out in full force on the morning of April 22 doing their part to contribute to Earth Day by cleaning up trash after noticing litter around the grounds after the snow melted.

“One of the goals of the teachers at the Campus Children’s Center is to teach children that they are members of layers of community and can be effective in bringing about change in their world,” said Dee Smith, who teaches in UVM's early childhood program and is infant/toddler program director at the Children's Center. "When UVM students asked what our 'small-sized stewards of the environment' were doing, they responded by saying that they were 'making campus beautiful.'" 

Over the years, students at the Children's Center, which cares for children ranging in ages from infants to preschoolers, have raised money to support children in war-torn Kosovo; sold their handmade paper to raise money for a swing on the playground; made mobiles for the infant room; taught university students how to make paper on Earth Day; planted flowers at the ECHO Center; participated in growing the gardens at the Intervale; made and sold bread to benefit the victims of Hurricane Irene; and most recently sold their homemade muffins to raise money for the salamander crossing in Monkton.

“Teachers have found children most engaged when they can participate in events that bring joy and happiness to others, such as gift giving, and real work for a special cause,” said Smith. 

Next year, teachers and children hope to connect with university students to clean up more of the campus when spring arrives. They plan to take signs around campus while asking for volunteers to help make everyone’s environment beautiful.