Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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Bell Elementary students, teachers, parents build bluebird boxes

Bell Elementary School teacher Jessica Thrasher and members of her PRIDE Club accepted the PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award from PRIDE’s Jennifer Johnson.

Bell Elementary School teacher Jessica Thrasher and members of her PRIDE Club accepted the PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award from PRIDE’s Jennifer Johnson.

Wayne County’s Bell Elementary School PRIDE Club has won the PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award.

During a PRIDE Club meeting, 82 first and second-grade students built bluebird boxes to put up at their homes. They discussed the importance of creating safe homes for bluebirds, which are native to this area.

More than 30 teachers and parent volunteers helped the students build the boxes. J.W. Frog, the PRIDE mascot, was on hand to encourage the students.

Denzel Gregory, who is retired from Beldens and is the husband of Bell Elementary School secretary Wanda Gregory, cut and organized the bluebird box materials for students to assemble. The materials were purchased with a PRIDE grant.

“This project deserves special recognition because it was a fun lesson for the students and it brought together many adults to help them,” said PRIDE’s Jennifer Johnson, who presented the award during the school’s PRIDE Club meeting today.

“I commend Mrs. Jessica Thrasher, who sponsors the PRIDE Club, for leading the project, as well as the teachers and parents who participated,” Johnson said. “Clearly, these students are surrounded with adults who want to help them learn, and that will be a big advantage in their education.”

“Students were super excited about the project, asking me weeks in advance, in the hallway, when they got to build their birdhouses,” Thrasher said. “At the end of the project, when getting ready to leave, many students said again, ‘You mean we get to take these home?’”

“There are simple daily changes that we all can make to help the environment,” Thrasher said. “Students just need to be exposed to these environmental acts of kindness. They listen and watch what we do. If they see a parent throw trash out the window, they think its okay. If they have never been taught to turn the water off while they are brushing their teeth, they won’t. They usually will tell me things that they or their families could improve on and I know they go home and tell their parents and family members.”

“During the construction of our outdoor classroom this year, we have enlisted the help of school, community, and parent volunteers,” Thrasher said. “It’s a work in progress and students are excited about it. In addition, we have a School Wide Recycling project going on in hopes that all students will be impacted and will show environmental acts of kindness.”

The school’s PRIDE Club explores nature and performs community service. The club meets once a month, and parent volunteers are always encouraged to participate.

The PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award rewards creative, effective ways of promoting environmental awareness and stewardship. PRIDE presents one award each month to a school within the 42 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky.

Follow PRIDE online at www.facebook.com/EasternKentuckyPRIDE.

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