School Program Teaches Children to be Earth-friendly

May 10, 2013

【Unlocking Word Meanings】

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. sponsor 
[SPON-ser] (v.) – to fund or support an activity
Example: The city mayor sponsored the new campaign to help poor kids get a good education.

2. recycling [ree-SAHY-kling] (n.) – the act of reusing waste material or garbage and changing it into new products
ExampleRecycling used plastic bottles and cans saves the family a lot of money.

3. crop [krop] (n.) – a plant grown by farmers for food, clothing and other human uses
ExampleCrops like rice are planted in fields and harvested during autumn in Japan.

4. exposure [ik-SPOH-zher] (n.) – the state of experiencing or being affected
Example: Children’s exposure to violent video games may have negative effects on behavior.

5. reinforce [ree-in-FAWRS, -FOHRS] (v.) – to strengthen
Example: Cooperating on a school project reinforces friendship and cooperation among students.


Read the text below.
A new comprehensive program called the Go Green Initiative aims to teach school children in Manassas City, Virginia, how to be earth-friendly.

Over 7,000 elementary school students participate in the program, which is sponsored by the city and its schools. Through the initiative, students learn about recycling, energy and water conservation, composting, and gardening.

With this program, school and government officials hope to raise awareness about recycling to keep Manassas City clean.

Sandy Thompson, the program's coordinator, said all schools in Manassas City do single stream recycling, in which paper, plastic and glass are collected in one container. To support this effort, the city's public works and utilities department provided 450 recycling containers for all the school classrooms in the city.

Aside from recycling, students also learn how to save water and electricity. Also, the children are taught about crops and where food comes from, since most of the children do not have exposure to agricultural communities.

Though the Go Green Initiative is a school program, its influence goes beyond the classroom. Thompson said that children bring home the earth-friendly practices they learn in school. They even start their own gardens and recycling systems at home. Some mothers also encourage their kids to practice what they learn in school to reinforce good habits.

If children learn earth-friendly habits at a young age, they would do those habits for the rest of their lives, said Mike Moon, director of the city's public works and utilities.

【Viewpoint Discussion】

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, what are the advantages of teaching children to be earth-friendly? Please explain your answer.
·         Do you think the Go Green Initiative can really help save the environment? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What other good habits and practices should children learn at a young age? Please explain your answer.
·         Do you think children learn faster than adults? Why do you say so?


May 10, 2013