Fourth graders from Bellerose Avenue Elementary recently had the
opportunity to propose a solution to a problem the school is facing to
the district Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds on June 12.
During an in-class lesson on erosion, fourth grade teacher Sue Moulton
took her students outside to show them a real example of erosion—the
front of the school’s crumbling hill. Ms. Moulton encouraged students to
observe the problem and come up with a solution based on facts they had
learned. This problem was especially relevant to the students because
some of their peers had dubbed it a safety hazard. Once together in
like-minded groups, many spent their recess periods working on a
Once finished, students presented their projects to Principal Lori
Beekman, who, impressed by their passion for the issue, organized a
visit from the district Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, Mr.
On June 12, Mr. Lackner visited the classroom and thanked them for their
concern for the well-being of their school, peers and environment. He
then traveled to each cluster of students to hear their proposal.
“So: you’ve got a problem—what’s the solution?” he asked.
Each group took a different approach to the problem. Some suggested
installing a drain to catch water before it could trickle down and erode
the hill, others suggested that allowing for more light to reach the
hill and help vegetation grow might solve the issue. Mr. Lackner was
impressed by each group, and said he would thoughtfully consider each
“I feel proud that I was able to present my solution to an important
person like Mr. Lackner,” said Sophie, a fourth grader in Ms. Moulton’s
class. “I feel like I actually can make a change.”