Earth Day Assembly, Featuring Falcons!

What a fantastic Earth Day assembly today!
Like all of our all-school assemblies, this one was student-led and organized, with some help from key adults. But unlike others, all of our students played a part today, beyond being audience members. And also unlike previous assemblies, this one was held outdoors, in the courtyard! What a treat to celebrate Earth Day at Evergreen.
Learning About Endangered Species
Endangered animals were the theme of today's assembly, and also the focus of a recent Buddy Day—monthly occasions when students get together with their assigned buddy classes and work on an activity.

Each class buddy group had already "adopted" a different endangered species of Washington State and spent time creating informative posters about that animal.
Today's event began with a parade! Each class walked in together with their buddy class—kindergarten with 5th grade, 1st grade with 6th, and so on—beginning at the flagpole and parading up the stairs and through the courtyard to the seating area, past cheering staff and specialist teachers.
Student council officers did a great job of MC'ing the event, encouraging each class and commenting on their artwork. Thanks to the work of the A/V club, we had a great sound system rigged up outdoors, complete with microphones that were height-adjustable for everyone from five-year-olds to teenagers.
Visit from Some Falcons ...
Once everyone was seated, some very special guests joined us: biologist and licensed falconer John Prucich of The Falconer, accompanied by a number of live falcons and other raptors. And, of course, we were also joined today by our own Evergreen mascot, Malcon the Falcon!
Well-practiced at addressing groups of young people, John captivated our students throughout his presentation. He told the assembled students that the licensing process to become a falconer involves two years of training under a master—"just like a Jedi master!"
He was full of fascinating information and repeatedly encouraged students to pursue science:
"We need more scientists!" he exclaimed, exhorting students to learn how to preserve our natural world, as well as help discover new species and how to protect them in the future.
"Let's all say 'pest control!'" he said, explaining that raptors eat mice, rats, animals and birds—including other smaller raptors.
"Falconry is the oldest field sport in the world, dating from three to five thousand years ago."
Endangered Species Songs, Poems, Raps and More
After our visiting falconer wrapped up, to much applause, the assembly continued. Fourth graders, led by Vanessa Miller, treated us to a catchy song about the environment that they helped compose, accompanied by rhythm instruments.
Finally, several different buddy groups performed original compositions: raps, poems and even a repeat-after-me-style cheer—all on the subject of endangered animals.