Cathy's Crawly Composters, Vermicomposting, Indoor composting with Red Wiggler Worms


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Rick Hansen Public School




A Vermi-Update from Rick Hansen Public School

Dear Cathy:

It was great to speak with you at the Eco Fair on Saturday, as you could tell I was very excited to tell you about our worms. So as promised, I am sending an email along from the staff and students at Rick Hansen Public School in Aurora to let you know how our worms are doing.

We received our Red Wrigglers in February 2013. In anticipation of the arrival of our new friends, the school held an Adopt-A-Worm program. Staff and students were asked to purchase pink paper worms for .25 to help raise money to buy the worms. A total of 543 paper worms were purchased and hung up throughout the school. During the Adopt-A-Worm drive, students who purchased the paper worms even went so far as to give them names.

One classroom was given the job of conducting daily announcements to encourage the students to help adopt-a-worm, as well as to educate them by giving out information on the worms. They did this by researching red wrigglers, coming up with a jingle and even making an actual commercial for our monthly assembly.

Currently, we have 5 classrooms that have EARNED green bins dedicated only to worm food. These are a kindergarten classroom, a grade 1-2, a grade 3, a grade 3-4, and a grade 7-8. These classrooms must differentiate between what goes in the normal green bin and what can go in the worm bin. They take their responsibility for our worms very very seriously.

As a brand new school (which opened in September 2012) it was important that the worm composter be brought in as quickly as possible (to get optimum buy-in) and it was important that the staff and students were educated on the worms and why we were getting them. I personally went around to classrooms and spoke about the worms, their habitat, their food needs and what they would give us if we took good care of them.
Students who were nervous about touching the worms found themselves holding them, and were even surprised to learn that they had 5 hearts.

We are a school of only 275 students, I am asked daily "how are the worms doing?", "have they had babies?" and I continue to conduct presentations about our worms, letting the students hold them, ask questions, and to see how their hard work and caring has paid off.

We have been granted a "Seeds for Change Garden" which will be implemented in September of 2013, it will be an awesome thing to be able to use our worm castings to enrich the soil in our Garden. Yes, we have had our challenges, but I now know why as I learn more about the cycle of feed and harvest. The attached photos give you a good view of what our vermiposter looks like, 4 plastic bins inside a wooden box with wheels which makes it great for presentations in classrooms. I also want to add that after my many presentations, students come running up to me after rain storms to say that they have saved worms by picking them up off the wet tarmac and putting them back onto grass or flower beds. The students have a better understanding of the role worms have in nature and why they are so important, so they now want to save as many as they can. :-)

So, we would like to extend our thanks to you and let you know that Vermiposting is a large part of the Eco culture at Rick Hansen P.S. in Aurora. The worms are happy, reproducing and giving us wonderful soil as a result.

Best regards

Kathleen R. Lacroix
Rick Hansen Public School

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Cathy's Crawly Composters

Bradford, Ontario
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