Goddard School preschoolers helping to protect Mother Earth

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MECHANICSVILLE, Va. -- Earth Day is April 22, but preschoolers at The Goddard School in Mechanicsville are getting an early start.

They, along with students at more than 460 students other Goddard School locations nationwide, will kick off their annual Root for Earth program.

The children are learning about eco-friendly topics and what it means to be a good environmental steward.

Part of the lesson includes planting seedlings in garden boxes.

"They love to get dirty," director Amanda Miles said. "They love to watch how the plants grow from a seedling.  They're really proud of their work."

During Root for Earth, preschoolers will engage in a range of activities, such as hosting a recycled runway fashion show, building instruments from recycled materials, gardening/composting, and other eco-friendly projects inspired by STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math).

"We want to help encourage children to lead a healthier life so that we can have a better earth for their future," Miles said.

A signature of Root for Earth, appropriately named “Lights Out!” will take place Friday, April 21 – the day before Earth Day.

Every Goddard School across the country will shut off all non-essential lighting for an hour beginning at 10 a.m. local time. System-wide, the Lights Out initiative will save roughly 3.4 million watts of energy.