Now in its 46th year, the movement to inspire young minds to protect the Earth continues as students from L.C. Kerr took part in Earth Day activities Thursday.
Associates from the local U.S. Cellular store and employees of Sampson Community College joined the students and teachers of L.C. Kerr School and took part in a planting event on the school’s grounds. In 1970, the Earth Day movement began as a way to give a voice to the emerging consciousness and channel human energy toward making environmental issues more important.
“I love this so much,” Kirstin Jamerson, sales manager of the local store, said. “I participated last year and this event is so much fun for me.”
Jamerson, along with sales associate Charmaine Williams dug right into the dirt, helping kindergarten students plant marigolds to take home, as well as plant herbs in the school’s garden.
“Our goal is to focus on science and technology,” Jamerson said. “Being a part of the community is important to us. We do community based events throughout the year and this is my favorite. I love getting to work with the kids.”
According to Melissa McIntyre, public relations counsel for U.S. Cellular, the company engages its associates in ongoing volunteer opportunities, such as mentoring and hands-on learning experiences at local clubs and schools, like L.C. Kerr.
Kindergarten students like Carli Taylor and Emma Honeycutt, who are in Sandra Cannady’s class, were thrilled and excited about the opportunity to plant flowers and take them home. They were among the nearly 40 students who took part in the event.
“I can’t wait to take mine home and show it,” Carli said.
Emma, who also showed her enthusiasm, said being able to work with the flowers was a lot of fun.
To further expand their impact, McIntyre said that U.S. Cellular associates across the country are once again participating in National Volunteer Month in April with the company’s annual Month of Giving program. After surpassing last year’s inaugural goal of 30,000 volunteer hours, U.S. Cellular announced a goal of 35,000 volunteer hours for 2016.
“Partnerships like this one engage U.S. Cellular associates with kids from the local clubs to focus on and increase understanding about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” McIntyre added.
L.C. Kerr principal Jennifer Pope was thrilled to have the associates from the company come out and work with the students in an effort to promote fun learning activities.
“We believe it is our responsibility to help Sampson County students achieve academic success,” Pope said. “With our partnership with U.S. Cellular, we hope to inspire interest in important STEM subjects that will translate to great futures, whether within those industries or another field altogether.”
Jamerson said the marigolds the students were able to plant and take home were donated to the efforts by Sharpe and Davis and the herbs that the students planted in the garden were given by Sampson Community College.
According to McIntyre, to enhance academic achievement among youth, U.S. Cellular has a longstanding commitment to the community and education and has contributed more than $8.35 million to local educational programming since 2009. Participating in the Earth Day event and working with the students at L.C. Kerr is just one of the many ways the company gives back to the community.
Teachers walked around helping students Thursday morning, as did Clinton City Schools administrative staff like superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount and Child Nutrition supervisor Jeff Swartz.
“Thank you goes to U.S. Cellular for the continued partnership with our school garden,” Blount said. “U.S. Cellular shared their time to allow for students to have the opportunity to experience planting herbs.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.