Arbor Day celebrated with students at Red Hills Mine

By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer

Fourth graders in the Choctaw County School District recently enjoyed
a ‘delayed’ Arbor Day celebration with the Red Hills Mine and the
Choctaw County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Mississippi celebrates Arbor on the first Friday of February. Since
the weather is uncertain in February, the Red Hills Mine and Choctaw
County SWCD celebrate Arbor Day in April.

Before the Arbor Day celebration, Judy Briggs, with the Choctaw
County SWCD, visits each fourth grade classroom in the Choctaw County
School District. This year she taught students about water shed since
this year’s poster contest theme is “Where Does Your Water Shed.”

The fourth grade teachers helped their students create posters
demonstrating where does your water shed.

On April 12, fourth graders visited the Red Hills Mine in Ackerman to
find out the contest winners, learn how to plant trees and tour the
coal mine.

Winners of the poster contest are:
Ackerman Elementary:
Teacher: Betty Bruce, Nichole Dunavant, Haley Sanders
1st Place-Ayanna LaShanti Dotson (Sanders)
2nd Place–Kaylee Briana Hancock (Sanders)
3rd Place–Kaylee Lynn Wilkerson (Bruce)

French Camp Elementary:
Teacher: Alisa Pruitt, Courtney Kirkman
1st Place–Dabney Elizabeth Edwards (Kirkman)
2nd Place–Landon Matthew Allen (Kirkman)
3rd Place–Rebecca Claire Bridges (Kirkman)

Weir Elementary:
Teacher: Sherri McMinn
1st Place–Eilundra N. Curtis
2nd Place–Emily Grace Tobias
3rd Place–Trenton James Weeks

The Red Hills Mine provided Wal-Mart gift cards to the winning poster

The overall poster contest winner is Eilundra N. Curtis from Weir
Elementary (McMinn’s class). Her poster will be sent to the
Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission to be judged with
other posters throughout the state. If Curtis’ poster wins, it will
be sent to the National Association of Conservation Districts for
judging nationally.

French Camp Elementary teachers Alisa Pruitt and Courtney Kirkman
also won a Wal-Mart gift card for having 100 percent participation in
both of their classes. They decided to split the gift card in half.
The Red Hills Mine sponsored that gift as well.

After announcing the poster contest winners, students learned how to
plant trees from Jerry Orr, with the Choctaw County SWCD, and then
they joined the Red Hills staff in planting trees in the reclamation
area at the coal mine.

Finally the fourth graders were taken on a tour of the Red Hills Mine
where they learned about the mining process and equipment used to
mine the coal.