Dominion’s Project Plant It! Grows by 20% in 2015
Each spring, for sale school systems throughout Virginia use Dominion’s Project Plant It! program to provide third-graders with an enriching educational experience to connect children with the environment. More than 44, ambulance 000 students in six states are enrolled this spring—a growth of 20 percent in participation over last year’s enrollment.
Project Plant It! was established in 2007 by Dominion Resources, physician parent company of Dominion Virginia Power, to teach students about the important role of trees in the ecosystem. In April, each participating student receives a redbud tree seedling in honor of Arbor Day. This culmination inspires children to plant their own tree and care for it over the years.
Richmond Public Schools has been involved in Project Plant It! since its inception, and several RPS schools have hosted Arbor Day events and tree celebrations. Oak Grove Elementary held an event in 2015, in which the children planted six trees and sang a special song about spring.
The free program from Dominion includes a special kit for teachers with innovative lesson plans, posters, certificates, stickers and more. All of the materials support state learning standards and knowledge skills in core curriculum subjects such as math, science, language arts and social studies. The website, www.projectplantit.com, has educational games and videos.
Students enjoy the diverse array of lesson plans and activities provided by Project Plant It!, especially when they can go outdoors to practice their math and science skills in investigation, measurement and analysis. They also can write stories and poems about trees to boost their proficiency in language arts.
Educators like Laura Marshall, third-grade teacher at Grange Hall Elementary School in Chesterfield County, appreciate the cross-curricular approach to environmental education that Project Plant It! provides. In addition to collaborative team research for science projects, students have created songs and artwork about trees.
“The program encourages students to take initiative and be proactive about planting the redbud seedling with their families,” she said. “Project Plant It! has been an important component of my spring curriculum for the past nine years.”
New in 2015 is a contest to find Nature’s Greatest Educator—the teacher who most creatively incorporates the Project Plant It! lesson plans, instructional tools, and website activities into the classroom curriculum. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, May 1. Contest details and prizes can be found on the website.
“Project Plant It! is one of the many ways that Dominion seeks to partner with the communities we serve,” said Irene Cimino Roberts, manager-corporate public relations for Dominion.
Since 2007, more than 300,000 tree seedlings have been distributed to elementary school students in areas where Dominion conducts business. According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, this equates to about 750 acres of new forest if all of the seedlings are planted and grow to maturity. For more information about Project Plant It!, visit the website or Facebook page.