"What can we do to protect trees?" See the cute answers D.C. pre-schoolers wrote

Mundo Verde instructor Tara McNerney transcribed students' answers to the question: "What can we do to protect trees?"

Photo: Jodie Goldberg

Going green is important at a school dedicated to fostering future global stewards in an increasingly complex world.

An after-school instructor for Washington, D.C.'s Mundo Verde school recently read Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree with her group of pre-kindergarten students, and encouraged them to talk about the different types of services that trees provide for all of us. (Oxygen, shade, wood, paper and fruit were their replies.) 

When Tara McNerney asked her class, “What can we do to protect the trees?”, they came up with the idea to write a letter (pictured above) urging fellow citizens of Earth not to destroy the planet’s forests. 

McNerney’s class plans to send a copy of their letter to President Obama and the Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library. 

The students also created nature-focused art work (pictured right), which they will send to the president along with their letter. Since not all Mundo Verde students speak the same language, McNerney instructed them to express their thoughts in drawings and collages.

Mundo Verde is Washington, D.C.’s first green-focused public charter school, where pre-kindergarten students learn their their recycling symbols as diligently as their alphabet letters.

The school's mission is to teach its students to be wilderness stewards by respecting and appreciating the natural world around them. Classes explore topics such as composting, recycling, plants, wildlife habitats, insects and water.

Instructors spend large amounts of time with their pupils outdoors in Washington's huge Rock Creek Park, to familiarize students with nature.

Photos: Jodie Goldberg, Tara McNerney