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Great Movie Featuring Laurel School's Pre-Primary Students

Created by Craig Matis & Nancy Clark


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Laurel School's Pre-Primary Students Featured in “Recycling” Music Video

Created by Craig Matis and Nancy Clark


Shaker Heights, Ohio, (United States)The Laurel School (www.LaurelSchool.org) has released “The Recycle Movie,” a six-minute video created by Laurel teaching assistant Craig Matis and Pre-Kindergarten teacher Nancy Clark.  While singing the original “Recycling” song (music and lyrics by Mr. Matis), boys and girls from Laurel’s Pre-Primary School illustrate the value -- and fun! -- of recycling.  The video features footage from the Lorain County Resource Recovery Complex.


Laurel School has a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and education, and for over ten years, Pre-Primary teacher Nancy Clark, supported by teaching assistant Craig Matis, has made environmental education a centerpiece in her classroom.  This environmental programming has often included field trips to the Lorain County Resource Recovery Complex, where the children can see the recycling process first-hand.  Matis frequently uses music and video to supplement the exceptional learning experience provided to the girls and boys at Laurel’s Pre-Primary School.


Other recent projects at Laurel centering around environmental stewardship, include a study of the plight of the honeybee by Laurel’s Second Graders, and a follow-up letter writing campaign to Ohio’s governor to urge him not to make funding cuts to the State’s apiary program.  In addition, Laurel’s Pre-Primary launched Eco-Wonder! in 2008-09.  This new program emerged from discussions around Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv, which addresses the implications that arise from children’s lack of engagement with nature. A group of five Pre-Primary faculty members developed a unique curriculum that reflects the Pre-Primary’s long-standing philosophy of promoting wonder, play and the exploration of the natural world as the seeds for a lifetime of joyful learning.

The goals of the Eco Wonder! curriculum are twofold: to foster a connection with the outdoor environment of Laurel’s Lyman and Butler Campuses through exploration and experimentation and to promote sustainability through stewardship of our two campuses and the world at large. In the eco-laboratory in our courtyard at the Lyman Campus, students explore and experiment. They observe, smell and enjoy the many flowers and plants that grow there and learn how important plants are in the life cycle of earth. Our rain barrel collects rain water which we then recycle and use to water our gardens. Next to the rain barrel is an observation garden, which will remain untouched to allow nature to take over. The children watch the process over time and record their observations in a variety of ways.

Two other examples of our commitment to sustainability are the solar fountain, which makes a great example of one form of alternate energy production, and our “Tumbleweed Composter,” where the children place their food scraps and learn about decomposition. In addition, we are celebrating Earth Day with the inauguration of a small greenhouse, specifically dedicated for the Eco-Wonder! Program.

Laurel is fortunate to have the resources of its outdoor Butler Campus to use in teaching environmental awareness.  With 140 acres of woods and streams, as well as an 1,600 square foot- “magic tree house,” playing and exploring in the woods is regular occurrence for Laurel students.


Organizations and schools may find the Recycling video useful in their curricular programming.  A DVD of “The Recycle Movie” is available by contacting Julie Donahue at 216.464.1441.

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