Spruce Up Your School! One lucky school will receive $2500 to beautify their school in the spirit of the Lorax! Accepting entries through March 15th.

About the Grant

Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. have established the first annual Lorax Spruce Up Your School Grant Program to provide necessary funds to school employees to beautify their surroundings — inside or outside — in the spirit of the Lorax. Children naturally want to help and be involved, and the grant program will spark their interest in the well-being of their community and beyond, and get them eagerly looking for ways to make a difference.

 

The grand prize winner received:

Lorax Grand Prize

Three runners-up received:

Lorax Runners-Up Prize

 

WINNER:
Bonita Street Elementary School
Carson, CA
Entry submitted by Susan M., first grade teacher

Susan's grand prize-winning entry:

1. Which area(s) of your school would you and your students beautify with a grant, and why? (click to see answer)

A grant you say, hip hip hooray! Students, teachers, and community members will participate in the expansion of our garden. We will use an existing covered lunch area that was abandoned when our sixth graders moved to middle school. The area has remained vacant for several years. Since this open area is adjacent to our main garden, we are calling this new area a garden classroom. Students will be able to use this new area to learn about city wildlife, photosynthesis, greenhouse effects and how to care for potted trees and flowers. In this garden classroom students will be inspired to read, write and create art. Students in Pre-K to Fifth will hone observation, communication and recording skills using the diversity of potted plants and trees. The garden classroom will provide a home for birds, insects and other small creatures. Students will learn to care about living things “no matter how small” (Horton, Dr. Seuss). Families and community members will also enjoy this space as they will be able to meet, read, eat an afternoon snack and enjoy events in this beautiful Lorax garden. Families will be inspired to create their own gardens at home. The diversity of potted trees, bushes and flowers will provide ideas for those families that may only have a porch or balcony for gardening. Caring for plants will translate into caring for all living things. The student body and faculty will benefit from this space. The garden classroom will provide a wonderful area for professional development, math and literacy nights, guest readers and other school wide events. This space will be perfect for use by our growing community of medically disabled students. The concrete floor will provide an excellent surface for wheelchairs, walkers and braces. The garden classroom will allow these students to benefit from the magic of our new area. This new Lorax inspired garden classroom will turn an unused area into a showcase for our school. It will allow all types of people to work together and learn about each other. Beautifying this space will be a huge, important improvement at our school and for our community.

2. How would you and your students spend a $2,500 grant to beautify your school, and why? Spell out a detailed budget for your purchases and a timeline. (click to see answer)

My students, their families and I would spend the grant award improving an abandoned space at our school. We would like to create a Lorax garden classroom. At the entrance we would like to draw, cut and paint a welcome sign depicting the Lorax and the phrase “Unless someone….” This sign will be attached to a fence covered in purple morning glories. Behind this area we would like to place a durable shed which will house supplies for creating the garden classroom and then when these supplies are used, the shed would house gardening supplies, science equipment, art media and Dr. Seuss books. We would make clouds of color and attach these clouds to the already existing beams. Stripes down the pole will also be painted with exterior paint. Within the garden classroom we would like to add seating. We would like to purchase two round rugs, to accommodate more children at one time. Along our East wall there is a parking lot. We would like to purchase bamboo fencing to attach to the existing chain link fence. This improvement will add to the safety of our students and families and provide space to hang up Dr. Seuss characters that we will cut out of plywood, paint and hang. To make our garden classroom complete we would like to purchase planting containers and Ficus trees. These trees can later be shaped into unusual shapes. Improvements will benefit our whole school community. Students will have a beautiful place to enjoy reading and learning.

3. How would you involve your students in the beautification project? (click to see answer)

We have visited this area several times and discussed ways to improve this space. Everyone wanted something to sit on. My students wrote letters to the PTA President requesting some lunch benches. We already received three benches. Then they wrote thank you cards. After I was presented this opportunity, I asked each child to design this new garden classroom. After reading Dr. Seuss books, completing character analysis and watching the original Lorax movie, my students took home a design template of the old lunch area. They worked with their families drawing and coloring or using the internet to copy and paste pictures depicting their design. Students and their families were encouraged to visit the area to get a feel for the task at hand. These ideas were incorporated into our final design. If we receive the grant students will plant and care for the flora. Students will be involved in the sketching and painting of the Dr. Seuss characters. Students and their families, as well as community members will help put up the fencing which will keep the students’ area more private. Students will work in groups to maintain this area and become better custodians of the Earth. Students will also create their own art work styled after Dr. Seuss to display in this area and host an art show. Students will take photographs of the event and write letters that will inspire further donations to our garden classroom. This beautification project will require students to be involved in maintenance starting in Pre-K to their culmination in fifth.

4. What would give your beautification project the Lorax seal of approval? (click to see answer)

The Lorax would give our plans for a garden classroom its seal of approval because the idea is based on its favorite things: recycling (the abandoned lunch area), caring for the Earth (caring for trees, recycling and using green products), sharing (learning the importance of plants and telling others), diversity (of plants and people) and family fun! Using the old lunch area, will show students how a community can change things for the good to create happiness and love. Caring for the trees and learning about nature will help students learn to appreciate and take care of our Earth. The Lorax would also enjoy and approve of the beauty this project will create. The colors, characters and flora will make this area the most beautiful spot on our campus. The Lorax would be in favor of our blooms in the garden classroom and the blooming of young readers and writers. Finally, I know the Lorax would approve this community project because it inspires pride, family bonding and community building. That’s why the entrance will have the likeness of the Lorax and its statement “Unless someone like you cares a while awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not!” (Lorax, Dr. Seuss). We care an awful lot about our school, community and nature. We want to make our school a better place. Thanks for the opportunity.

Lorax Grant Winner Plan

RUNNERS-UPS:

Poultney Elementary School
Poultney, VT
Entry submitted by Tammy W. & Kristen C., third grade teacher & principal
Virgil Elementary School
Cortland, NY
Entry submitted by Amoreena T. & Catalina C., fifth grade teacher & school librarian
Martin Luther King Middle School
Milton, FL
Entry submitted by Carol S., Academic Intervention Specialist & Parent Involvement Coordinator

“UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.”

-Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax

Sponsored by Random House Children's Books Dr. Seuss Manhattan Toy®