On Saturday, December 10 Ararat Charter School (ACS) students and families, The Tree People and Armenia Tree Project (ATP) joined forces to put some “green” on the ACS campus. This event is the beginning of Ararat Charter School’s environmental education program, in partnership with the Armenia Tree Project.
Armenia Tree Project is a non-profit organization based in Watertown, Mass. and Yerevan, Armenia. It conducts vitally important environmental projects in Armenia’s impoverished and deforested zones and seeks support in advancing its reforestation mission.
Friends, families, students, and staff assembled at 9am to assist with the planting of 23 trees on the ACS2-Erwin campus. After a brief training conducted by The Tree People and a gathering of all individuals hand in hand, everyone chorally recited “People need trees, trees need people”. Families then quickly scurried to get their gloves, shovels, and water buckets. Though the ground was quite hard, their determination was stronger and boys, girls, moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas used their might to break through the soil in order to plant a tree. “It was the best feeling planting a tree” stated one student. “I loved playing with the dirt!” a first grader exclaimed. Well the first grader wasn’t the only one who loved handling the dirt. It was evident that the adults were gaining much satisfaction from this activity, knowing that planting trees not only benefits the environment and beautifies their campus, but more importantly stresses to their children the importance of taking care of the environment so that it can take care of them!
All 2nd through 4th graders will receive instruction from ATP representative, Anahit Gharibyan on the value of forests and what we can do to assist with reforestation efforts. When asked why Ararat Charter is teaming up with ATP, Principal Aida Tatiossian responded:
“We see great value in teaming up with The Armenia Tree Project because we want our students to not only do well academically and socially, but to feel compelled to assist their neighborhoods and communities in meaningful ways and one avenue can be through environmental efforts. We have an opportunity here to teach students about making the right choices and more importantly to empower them to have a voice, take action, and stand up for what they believe in. Making connections to the motherland is also a very important factor in teaming up with ATP. It’s critical that our students know who they are, where they come from, and feel proud about their culture and heritage. The Armenia Tree Project gives us the opportunity to teach our students about Armenian History, the current economic state of our country, and provides our students ways to lend a hand. It’s important that people understand that we don’t have a cookie-cutter approach to educating our children. We are constantly exploring new and innovative ways to teach our students about the world around them. he Armenia Tree Project fits into this schema well, hence our partnership.”