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Piles of scat.

Inches of mud.

Spiders and worms and other creepy, crawly things.

Fifty-two fourth-graders, staring up at me from below my chest and chattering.

All I could think was, "What have I gotten myself into?" (Did I mention I was reporting my very first cover story?)

But it didn't take long before I was won over. Sucked in by Teresa's warm welcome. Jonathan's contagious enthusiasm. Suzie's caring smile. All the positive comments made by the multiple parents and administrators I talked to about School in the Woods.

And, most of all, by those 52 fourth-graders, who I'm convinced are going to do their part to fix the planet.

This is my little part. I could tell you: Recycle. Reduce. Reuse. But that's an old mantra. Read the story. Picture the kids in your minds, then picture their future world.

For them, it's not labeled "global warming" or "industrial pollution." It's not what's wrong versus what's right. It's much simpler than that.

It's taking care of the people and places around you, treating them well. And believing they will treat you well in return.

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