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'Green' knowledge takes wing as children let insects fly away

Lone Tree preschoolers release thousands of ladybugs in schoolyards


It's never too early to learn about the importance of your environment. Students at Riverstone Education Preschool and Merryhill Preschool in Lone Tree spent the days leading up to Earth Day, which occurs each year on April 22, learning about the important roles ladybugs play in keeping their environment healthy. The youngsters learned that in addition to being cute, ladybugs serve as a natural pesticide by feeding on insects that could otherwise harm the health of gardens, trees and shrubs.

Armed with their new knowledge, the youngsters released thousands of ladybugs in their schoolyards and back into the environment on April 20, in celebration of the upcoming Earth Day.

“We wanted to do something for Earth Day that our students could understand and participate in, and who doesn't love ladybugs?” Said Merryhill principal Beth Russell. “Since they are good for our environment and help plants and trees, it's a perfect event to share with the students.”

In addition to learning about ladybugs, students spent the week learning about recycling, reducing, waste and taking care of our natural resources. The little ones spent time sorting recyclables and creating art projects using recycled products.

“Our theme this week was Earth Day and we incorporated it into our classrooms,” said Russell. “Some of the fun activities that they have done throughout the week include sorting recyclables, creating art projects using recyclables, and writing about how we can all help take care of our planet -- which included releasing 10,000 lady bugs today.”

While students enjoyed releasing the ladybugs and watching them take to their natural habitat of trees and flowers around the schoolyard, Russell said it's an important lesson for children to learn early in life.

“We want to teach our students the importance of taking care of our planet, so many children in the future can enjoy this beautiful planet as much as we do,” said Russell. “We spent the week not only talking about what they can do, but teaching them how they can make a difference.

“Releasing ladybugs is a hands-on, eco-friendly project that allows the children to experience the importance of why we need to take care of our planet,” said Mindy Barnell, principal at Riverstone Education. 

This is the fourth year Merryhill and Riverstone have done the ladybug release in Colorado. Their parent company, Nobel Learning Communities, which is a national network of more than 200 private schools, has done countless ladybug releases around the nation throughout the years.


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