The information below comes from Shedd Aquarium.
A group Oak Terrace Elementary School students in Highwood is participating in a holiday project with Shedd Aquarium to promote sustainability.
Shedd Aquarium encourages Chicago-area classrooms to reduce, reuse and wreath-cycle this holiday season with its Wreath-Cycled Classroom Challenge, sponsored by the McDonald's Owner Operators of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (MOCNI). Students from kindergarten to high school levels are charged with decking Shedd’s halls in holiday spirit with sustainable wreaths, built of 100 percent recycled or recyclable materials.
During the challenge, students were encouraged to use items found in their homes and classrooms, from plastic bottles to paper towel rolls, to build their wreaths. Hanging wreaths will spread holiday cheer around the aquarium’s Caribbean Reef rotunda and other areas all season long from Nov. 29 to Jan. 7.
“Wreath-Cycled Classroom Challenge is a festive, hands-on activity to have kids start thinking about sustainability in a fun way,” said Melissa Williams, vice president of learning at Shedd. “We hope the contest will provide an opportunity for classrooms to be creative while connecting to curriculum about the positive effects sustainable lifestyles have on our world.”
This year’s theme, “Animal Connections,” encourages students to reflect on how recycling has an impact on wildlife and the environment. Each wreath must be accompanied by a short essay addressing the subject.
"McDonald's proudly supports programs that foster the education and development of children," said Chris Singleton, president of MOCNI and a McDonald's Owner/Operator. “We are excited to see the creativity and imagination of these students displayed in a way that celebrates sustainability and the holiday season."
On Dec. 15, all classrooms vying for the top prizes are invited to Shedd, free of charge, for a holiday celebration with Ronald McDonald where the competition’s winners will be announced.
One winner will be chosen in each grade level (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12) for each of three categories: overall winner, most creative, and best educational message. Across all grade levels (K-12), one fan favorite submission will be selected onsite and one chosen through Shedd’s Facebook page will also be chosen. The winning classrooms will be treated to an all-inclusive field trip to Shedd, hosted by members of Shedd’s Auxiliary Board.