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Ossining Kids Praised for Invasive Plants Films

OSSINING, N.Y. – About 150 people turned out to view three-minute films about invasive plants created by sixth and seventh graders in Ossining's Summer Environmental Science Academy.

"This shows that if you have the right teacher, if you have the right students and if you have the right support, you can do anything," Ray Sanchez, deputy school superintendent, said at a "green carpet" screening of the films last week.

The three-minute films, created with support from the Jacob Burns Film Center, employed animation or student actors to represent plants. Plant characters were based on the life cycles of real-life invasive plants that can be found behind Brookside School.

"These were some of the brightest students I've ever met," said Sean Weiner, a faculty member at the Jacob Burns center who worked with students on their videos.

Aside from creating films, students in the summer science program also restored several habitats behind Brookside School with native plants species, under the guidance of teacher Cynthia Bardwell.

"It was really wonderful to see how it all came together and how the support of the community translated into such as meaningful learning experience for the students," said Amy Seiden, the president of Ossining MATTERS Education Foundation, which funded the summer program.

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