The Charles Street Times
Why L.E.F.T. is so right for Lindy schools and its communityThursday, October 25, 2007 By Amanda Coyne
Becoming environmentally knowledgeable has been the goal which the L.E.F.T. program has been working on for the past twenty-five years. How the layers of the Earth settle, the oceans move, and the plants and animals adapt. All these questions which are answered during a four day field trip to Fire Island, Montauk, and the Nissequogue River Systems. “What L.E.F.T. provides is a chance for students to gain knowledge of the fragile and unique ecosystems that are on the island.” says AP Biology teacher and L.E.F.T. advisor, Mrs. Bruno. During this extended activity the classroom is in an outdoor environment. The first day the main objective is for the students to see plant-life and animal-life in their natural settings. The students study the fish in the water, the birds, mammals, and insects upon the lands, and the plants providing them with the necessities for life. The participants will be able to answer questions such as how do these organisms co-exist? They are able to recognize and name insects that don’t usually cross our minds. The purpose is to obtain an understanding of why the “so-called” unimportant things matter in our community and have a good time doing it. “It was fun. I found it very interesting,” said Elizabeth Tackah, a junior at LHS. The new environmentalists who signed up for AP Biology become observers, explorers, and scientists. They look, they ask questions, they make conclusions. “It’s exciting to learn more about the Earth when you get to do it hands-on,” said Kim Dorso (‘08). This trip does not exempt students from other school work; it actually makes them incorporate their other subjects into this learning exercise. For example, a nature journal for English, time for math, geographies for history, and illustrations of what they see for art. So when students who aren’t involved in the L.E.F.T. program say “All they do is get to go to the beach all day and do nothing, they couldn’t be more wrong. There is a follow-up program called “L.E.F.T. for Juniors”. Students act as tour guides to the local fourth graders in the community and pass on their knowledge to a younger generation. This act of kindness counts as community service as well. Do you think students will say “remember reading that chapter in AP Bio?” Not a chance. But they will look back on is this program and remember what happened, what they saw, and what they got out of it. The tradition has been celebrated for a quarter of a century, and it is the hopes of the educators that some students will go onto concentrate on ecological studies later in life or at least help preserve it from the industrialized world.