Week of green activities leads to Earth Day April 22

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Taking part in the 2017 Earth Day activities at the Perry Elementary School Wednesday were front row from left, Kimberly Perez, Gabriel Jaimes, Brayden Vogel, Alexandra Rodriguez, Joshua Garcia-Cortez, Imanolo Andres, Brooke Nelson, Alex Andres and Jerson Vargas; back row from left, Perry Elementary School third grade teacher Daisy Diaz , Elsie Aguilar, Daisy Gavidia, Ashlyn Atkins, Jeancarlos Puente, Kejuan Brown, Cadence Conrad, Leobardo Delgadillo-Ayla, Carlos Martinez, Joseph Carrillo, Jannai Chavez, Teresa Romero, Perry Elementary School Co-Principal Ned Menke and Perry Public Works Department Recycling Director Brian Eiteman. Photo courtesy Hy-Vee

In order to promote the 2017 Earth Day Saturday, April 22, the Perry Hy-Vee has partnered with both the Perry Elementary School and the city of Perry in a series of activities called Earth Week April 17-22.

Aiming to teach students about the importance of recycling and environmental sustainability, are planned, the weeklong series of earth-friendly activities began Wednesday with recycling day.


Brian Eiteman, who drives the recycling truck for the Perry Public Works Department, gave half-hour programs for third graders at the Perry Elementary School and St. Patrick’s Catholic School.

“Both schools have been collecting toilet paper tubes to recycle,” said Larry Vodenik, the Hy-Vee community event coordinator. “They’re presenting these to Brian today, and the classroom that has collected the most tubes gets a free pizza party from Hy-Vee.”

Pizza is a strong incentive, but the youngsters seemed eager to collect the tubes for their own sake.

“The kids were ecstatic,” said Daisy Diaz, whose Perry Elementary School third graders collected toilet paper tubes for the event. “We initially set a goal of 500 but ended up collecting 1,127. Every day we counted up our toilet paper rolls and made a subtraction problem to see how many more we would need. It worked great with our math, because they are learning three-digit subtraction with re-grouping.”

Using ordinary objects to represent cardinal number gave the students “a real meaningful connection,” Diaz said. “The kids were quite resourceful, gettings toilet paper rolls from relatives, parents’ employers and neighbors. They talked about what become of the toilet paper rolls, for instance, they could become boxes, and they would kept out of the landfill.”

We have a kids coloring contest, and various events on Wed. – Thur. & Friday, this week. There is also a volunteer clean up of Frog Creek on Saturday. The media is invited to join us for any and all of these. For more details contact Larry Vodenik at Hy-Vee.

Thursday’s event, weather permitting, will be Tree Day, Vodenik said. Perry Parks and Recreation Director John Anderson will plant a tree near the schools and then have short programs for the fifth graders, discussing the importance of trees and the development of the city nursery. Hy-Vee is donating the trees for Tree Day, Vodenik said.

The Perry City Hall steps up Friday, April 21, with City Administrator Sven Peterson chatting with fourth graders at the Perry Elementary School and St. Pat’s about Perry’s ecologically friendly programs, including recycling, energy-saving street lights, the new wind turbines, the solar-powered gator and other green technologies.

Earth Day itself, Saturday, April 22, is called Frog Creek Day, with volunteers cleaning the creek side through Pattee Park and enjoying free hot dogs chips and water for lunch, all courtesy of Hy-Vee.

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