What 8th Graders Know


At the end of September, The Bark House participated in a river sweep with the Toe River Valley Coalition and Mrs. Sirois 8th grade Science class.



mccurry-and-8th-graders-clean-up-river-07Some of the things that the students discovered were:

  • Whoever made kayaking “a thing” was pretty smart.
  • “This” does not belong in the river.
  • I got the hose.
  • The water gets colder as you get older.
  • What turbidity means.
  • I never thought a guy that big could swim that well.
  • I never knew that the rivers were this beautiful.
  • I want to bring my family to do this next time.
  • Who knew that doing something so important could be so much fun?
  • If everyone knew about this, they would all want to come.


What I got out of the experience was deeply meaningful.  Trash is my big thing.  I can’t understand it at all; it seems so self-defeating.  We do stream clean-ups in solidarity all the time.

To see 8th graders enlivened and appreciating the stream – to see the new discovery of something that is always near them every day of their lives, just overlooked – was energizing.

To see them perplexed and wondering how the trash got there, to see them wanting to clear the river of it – that was humbling and renewing.

I took so many photos that day watching the kids discover and play and listening to their revelations as we moved within the water.  I discovered my own child-like voice whispering “again-again”.

As my son said – I can’t wait for the spring float.


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