8's Cool School: Christa McAuliffe Elementary - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

News 8's Cool School

8's Cool School: Christa McAuliffe Elementary

Updated: 10-27-08 at 3:13PM
If you want to change things, it's been said "Start early with young minds." That's the philosophy of Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, especially when it comes to the environment.

In a beautiful garden at Christa McAuliffe Elementary, monarch butterflies have taken flight. Through nurturing hands and innovative teaching methods, the school has literally transformed its garden into a national wildlife certified backyard habitat and monarch way station.

"That certification indicates we're providing a complete habitat. We have food, shelter... all of the things that sustain the life cycle," teacher Ellen Bialik said.

Success is based on the scientific premise of "Build it, and they will come."

"We're planting host plants that will bring butterflies to lay their eggs," Bialik said.

As caterpillars nourish on milkweed, the life cycle transforms right before students' eyes.

"As caterpillars get large enough to pupate and make chrysalis, they go traveling and we find them in all kinds of places... we find them on poles," Bialik said.

Students observe first-hand the wonders of nature.

"There's lots of different things you can find in a butterfly garden," student Adrianna said.

There are also lots of things to do.

"We usually have to give them lots of water, air, dirt so the plants can grow healthy," Adrianna said.

"The children are really deeply connecting with nature, they're learning how to be gentle, how to honor nature," Bialik said.

"I just rescue caterpillars and butterflies. That's what I do," student Alex said.

Students are also learning to sustain an eco-friendly planet.

"There's really a crisis in our environment now because of the overuse of pesticides," Bialik said.

And with the help of these very cool kids, monarchs are fluttering to their safe haven.

Congratulations to Christa McAuliffe Elementary - 8's Cool School of the Week!
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