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Montclair’s Park Street Academy Raises the Bar on Environmental Education

Clearwater’s Music Director Linda Richards, presents the Discover the Hudson music program to Park Street Academy pre-school and kindergarten students. Credits: PSA

MONTCLAIR, NJ –  On Wednesday, April 8, over thirty Park Street Academy preschoolers bobbed their heads to a rendition of “Sweet Home Hudson River,” performed by Linda Richards, Music Director of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.  In fact, two separate groups of 2-6 year olds sat rapt that morning, enjoying a presentation of songs, stories and photos about the Hudson River, its history and habitat, and how students just like them have made an impact on the people, plants and animals living there.


“This month our students are learning about environmental science, recycling and the impact that their actions have on the community and the planet,” explains Lisa Raphael, Director of Park Street Academy.   “Clearwater’s mission – and ability to communicate, through music, to students of all ages – really connected with the children.”

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Clearwater was founded by Pete Seeger, legendary musician, singer, songwriter, folklorist, activist, environmentalist, and peace advocate, and one of the most influential people of the twentieth century.  According to Clearwater’s Music Director Linda Richards, the Discover the Hudson music program she presented to Park Street’s preschoolers is about teaching children “what’s in our water resources, because knowing this information will make these children more likely to protect them as they grow older.”


Earlier this month, Park Street Academy students were visited by the Essex County Environmental Center to share a message of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink!”  In fact, the school often hosts guest speakers from the community to support their monthly themes and classroom activities.


“Even as young as age 2, our students come to school eager to learn and integrate new information into their everyday lives,” notes Raphael.  “Our goal is to help our children become responsible and caring by helping them to see beyond themselves to the concerns of others, the community and the environment in which they live.”


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