Last Updated: Apr 27th, 2015 - 11:04:56

Growing minds in Hopewell
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Mar 31, 2014, 14:13

BRIAN CAPALDO/HOPEWELL PUBLIC SCHOOLS Lisa Deaton, with the Virginia Department of Forestry, talks to third-graders at Patrick Copeland Elementary School.
HOPEWELL — Third grade students at Patrick Copeland Elementary School learned all about trees, from the lifecycle of a tree to what products can be made from trees, through song, dance and laughter. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Lisa Deaton, a forest education specialist with the Virginia Department of Forestry, spoke to the gym full of students on behalf of Project Plant It!

Project Plant It! is a free, environmental education program developed by Dominion. The program is aimed to help children understand the importance of trees on the environment. 

33,000 elementary school students in six states, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut have participated in Project Plant It! 

Dominion, in a partnership with the national Arbor Day Foundation, had gathered seedlings for the students to take home after the program. 

The seedlings are packaged in a recyclable container and contain instructions for indoor and outdoor planting. The third-grade students at Patrick Copeland were given Redbud tree seedlings, the same tree that grows on the front lawn of the school. 

Deaton began the program by asking the students the importance of trees. With their voices filled with energy and their hands held high in the air, answers soon filled the gym. “They can make paper. They are food for animals. They are homes for animals. They give us medicine.” 

Though the students proved to be knowledgeable about trees, Deaton passed on some facts about trees, such as the fact that vitamin E, which comes from trees, is used in products such as suntan lotion. 

“Trees helped you from getting sunburned,” Deaton told the students. 

Deaton also used song and dance to help teach the students about the lifecycle of a tree. 

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