Earth Day 2022: 3rd & 4th graders put East Oakland on the map as they plant trees in local neighborhoods

EAST OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) – East Oakland 3rd and 4th grade students are covering their hard work in the community as we approach Earth Day, which is Friday, April 22.

A group of kids from the Korematsu Discovery Academy in Oakland say they want to improve their neighborhood. You may remember their school was closed last year for a few days after a flea infestation. That issue has been resolved and now the kids are moving.

They may just be bigger than the trees they’re holding, but some 3rd and 4th graders at the school have called themselves the tree army, doing their part for Earth Day.

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“We went around the school’s neighborhood and asked if they wanted to plant a small fruit tree,” said fourth grader Santiago Duenas.

“We’ve been to more than 200 doors,” said Melanie Pacheco, a fourth grader.

The project was inspired after the child’s school was closed last year for two days due to a flea infestation. They later learned that the cold weather would probably kill the nearby flea eggs, but the cold never came.

“It’s terrible because we have to close the school because we have to have the whole school sauna and it’s hard for me and the others,” said fourth-grader Gael Mendoza.

VIDEO: Massive flea infestation causes 2 Oakland elementary schools to close

The kids learned about global warming and became more anxious. A month after the fleas, this eagle appeared on their football field.

“When your environment is out of balance, weird things start to happen like fleas and eagles, so it’s really trying to bring balance through the community,” says Korematsu teacher Dana Hinchliffe .

Soon the children came up with the idea of ​​​​planting trees. The teachers could find a group called Common Vision to donate those trees and the kids went to work. Offer to plant them for neighbors and even give away bird sculptures to families that come along.

Florian Industries helped put those sculptures together.

“The idea is to plant trees to help the earth. So there’s less global warming, so it’s colder, so it’s all well balanced,” Duenas said.

Zenaida Romero, a fourth grader, said: “Some of the people were really nice and they suggested it to us.

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“Most of them like being nice but some of them don’t, don’t care, are busy and just having a bad day,” Duenas said.

The kids planted 50 trees in the neighbor’s yard, because the kids in one of the four houses said yes to a new tree. Then the students brought the remaining 70 trees home and planted them in their yard.

“It’s something the kids definitely won’t forget because it’s not easy, it’s not easy to change. If people say, ‘Yes,’ they’ll think, ‘Oh, that’s how the world works,'” but it’s not. they have a version that really focuses on how difficult it is to change but how good it is when you’re successful,” said Hinchliffe.

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