Wardlaw-Hartridge First & Third Graders Participate In Composting Project

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First graders Anya Batra and Akhila Mantri, both of Edison, brace themselves as they dump smelly fruit peelings into the composter. (Photo courtesy of Wardlaw-Hartridge School)

First graders Anya Batra and Akhila Mantri, both of Edison, brace themselves as they dump smelly fruit peelings into the composter. (Photo courtesy of Wardlaw-Hartridge School)

EDISON – The first and third graders at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison are collaborating on a composting project, which will literally feed into the Lower School’s Garden, due to open this spring. Barbara Drake is spearheading the garden project, while Katherine Heiss, Joanne Jacobson and Jennifer Molloy focus on teaching students that composting is “another way to recycle.”

An outdoor classroom space was created in the woods at the back of the school property. While in the woods, students buried apple cores, then went back to check on them nearly two weeks later. The students discovered that the apples were gone. To find out more, they buried apple cores in dirt in their classrooms and observed them over time, learning about decomposition. In addition, students learned about the importance of producing less trash, and how composting does just that.

A composter, which was purchased through a mini-grant from the Wardlaw-Hartridge Parents’ Association, is now set up near the Lower School playground. First and third grades are filling the composter with fruit peelings from lunch and layering it with leaves. Their goal is to get the entire Lower School involved. Posters are being made, and more small bins are being supplied for the lunch room tables and in classrooms, so that more people can save their fruit and veggie scraps to add to the composter. First and third graders are excited to share their knowledge and help others get on board.


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