ls-bagsStudents at the Point Road School decorated bags that will be given to customers at Sickles Market on Earth Day. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Friday at the auditorium of Point Road School in Little Silver, in front of a couple hundred students, was one of Bob Sickles‘s favorite days.

“I get to play hooky from work,” said Sickles, owner of Sickles Market.

He also got a couple armloads to bring back to work with him.

The students, in celebration of Earth Day, decorated 500 brown paper bags that the market will give to shoppers on Friday, April 22 — Mother Nature’s day.

“It’s really cute what they do,” Sickles said. “Some of what they do is absolutely adorable. It’s a lot of work.”

The partnership, now in its third year, helps engage the children with the community, parent Susan Murray said. It was originally designed as a simple Earth Day project, with kids taking crayons and markers to the paper bags, but their enthusiasm took hold and made it an anticipated endeavor.

At an assembly, students took pledges to protect the earth and gave speeches on the importance of environmental awareness. They seemed to flaunt their bags like rally posters and waved them around the auditorium for photographers to snap.

As a token of appreciation for their work, Sickles gave each student a lettuce seedling to cultivate.

That, he said, will get him another chance to play hooky if he wants to return to the school in six weeks to take part in the school’s “salad harvest day.”

“It’s kind of like a farm-to-table experience,” he said. “Kid style.”