A beautiful Saturday to make Hillside look beautiful

The weather was beautiful so that allowed the Hillside Intermediate School community to happily perform their beautification project on Saturday, October 8.

To commemorate Roots & Shoots Spirit Week at Hillside Intermediate School, the Saturday Backyard Workday was held under sunny skies and comfortable temperatures. 

A workforce of 50, which included students, staff and families, were on hand to pitch in a hand at the school's outside grounds on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Bridgewater.

Roots & Shoots is a program that is dedicated to protecting animals and the environment. The mission of Roots & Shoots, according to the Hillside Intermediate School administrators, is to create and maintain a native schoolyard habitat that attracts many different forms of wildlife.

Roots & Shoots was introduced at Hillside Intermediate School over 20 years ago by the famed Dr. Jane Goodall, the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees. She had created the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), and from there, was born the institute’s Roots & Shoots program.

According to the JGI website, Roots & Shoots is a youth-led global community action program that helps young people become the informed generation of compassionate citizens that the world urgently needs.

The JGI partners with schools, educators and youth organizations to inspire and educate young people to make a difference on an individual level, the website explained.

Ms. Kiran Masud is one of the advisors along with Sean Smith of the Roots & Shoots program at Hillside.

“There are three things that we take care, “ Ms. Masud shared with the 5th graders who were in attendance at the Roots & Shoots class on Friday, October 7.

“Number one is humans. Number two is animals. Number three is the environment.”

She also stated another mission of the program.

“Everyone is good at being kind.”

The outside environment at Hillside was in fine shape after last Saturday’s Backyard Workday event.

Hillside Principal Dr. Tali Axelrod attended the event on Saturday.

“I was so proud to see so many families at our Backyard Workday on Saturday,” Dr. Axelrod declared. “It was a beautiful day with students and parents pitching in to beautify our backyard woods, trails and gardens.”

Ms. Tara Hueston, a 5th grade teacher at Hillside, was also on hand to lend a hand on October 8.

"What a remarkable opportunity to beautify our outdoor classrooms," Ms. Hueston said.

Ms. Masud was impressed with the attitude of the gathering.

“This is the perfect representation of our Roots & Shoots mission, which is caring about the environment, animals, and humans. We showed our care for the environment by picking up trash, clearing out weeds, and maintaining our vegetable garden. We showed our care for animals by upkeeping habitats like the butterfly garden.,” Ms. Masud said. “Lastly, the families, staff, and children that volunteered their day off showed care for humans because they worked as a team to get SO much done in order to make the trails available to our school community to use both in school and during after-school programs. “

Dr. Axelrod concluded:

“It really showed the community spirit of our Hillside families.”