WEST ORANGE, NJ - The seventh and eighth graders at Roosevelt Middle School held an Environmental Assembly on May 21 that brought laughter, tears, and hope for the future.
The school has its own Environmental Club and the students brought home the message of pollution, deforestation, and conservation through environmental song parodies that brought cheers from the enthusiastic audience.
After welcomes from Principal Lionel Hush and Assistant Principal Julianne Bello, Mike Brick, Chairman of the West Orange Environmental Commission, and township Council President Sue McCartney briefly spoke to underscore their appreciation for the students and their efforts to care about their world, as they challenged them to become "ecological warriors" and get involved with the Environmental commission. Both Brick and McCartney's children, now grown, attended Roosevelt Middle School.
Assistant Principal Bello quoted from David Brower: "We do not inherit the earth; we borrow it from our children".
Brick spoke about New Jersey resident Joyce Kilmer, a writer and poet who penned the iconic "Trees" in 1914. Kilmer fought with the famous Fighting 69th during WWI and was killed by a sniper's bullet. Brick read the poem, which will be distributed to all classes.
Student Council President Thomas Hughes, along with Tyler White, Cassidy Ferrell, and Grace Loma, then dedicated a Japanese maple tree in memory of Carol Sadler, a beloved teacher and guidance counselor at RMS for 25 years that recently passed away. Each shared something about Ms. Sadler's life and accomplishments.
Ms. Sadler's family was present for the emotional dedication, which included a performance of "For Good" by Veronica Cardona and Takerrah Falconer, which brought the audience to tears. Former RMS Principal Frank Corrado said, "It was the perfect song choice".
Diane Varela, eighth grade science teacher who helped to organize the event, told the audience that the new "Carol Sadler Memorial Kindness of Heart Award," would be given to a graduating RMS student.
After awards were given out to seventh and eighth grade students for their environmental bumper sticker designs and environmental poetry, the eighth graders performed their parodies. The event ended with a rendition of "We Are the World".