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Pleasantville Schools Celebrate Green Initiatives

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Pleasantville Middle School's annual Earth Day Green Fair welcomed its largest audience yet Thursday as dozens of community members and local businesses donated their services to the celebration.

Event co-chair and PTA member Amy Harter said the size of event was in stark contrast to the modest turnouts of previous years.

"It was very small. It was just some parents and some teachers, but we wanted to get organizations from the community involved and make it bigger," Harter said. "It’s really great to have outside members of the community involved."

Joining the fair for the first time were environmental education centers Teatown Lake Reservation and Hilltop Hanover Farm. Harter and co-chair Helen Meurer also were able to bring a Chevrolet Volt to the school, which is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Stealing the show for the students, however, were some furry and scaly friends, including a ferret, a box turtle and Shadow, the black rat snake. According to the snake's handler, it is one of the largest snake species in New York.

"We’re trying to expand it and have a little bit of something for everybody," Harter said of the fair. "While composting is very exciting and important, we wanted the students to be engaged."

According to Harter, the fair tied into environmental lessons the middle school students learned throughout the year. In December, the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation conducted a workshop with the sixth grade called “What Is the Footprint of Your School?”

"After learning about what’s happening at the school and take that data about how much energy they’re using, the kids come up with ideas to make their schools greener and reduce the footprint," said Harter.

Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer made an appearance to officially proclaim the first full week of May as Compost Awareness Week. This year, the week is from May 6-12. Scherer also brought and handed out dozens of mini-compost bags made from the village's leaves.

"You give us your leaves in the fall and we give it back to you in little bags at the middle school," Scherer said. "This is just a sample to let you know that we compost all the leaves we get and Pleasantville residents can go down to the DPW yard and pick up as much of it as they want."

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