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updated: 4/20/2011 12:32 PM

Hanover Park students meet with former Indian president, celebrate Arbor Day

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Daily Herald report

Students at Elsie Johnson Elementary School will recognize the former president of India and honor his environmental activism with an Arbor Day ceremony just days after meeting with him in person.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, will take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 29, at Elsie Johnson School, 1380 Nautilus Lane, Hanover Park.

A special tree will be planted in A.P.J. Kalam's honor to recognize his advocacy for tree planting and youth activism. Guests from the Indo-American Center and the Consulate of India have been invited to attend, though Kalam himself won't be there.

Elsie Johnson's fifth-grade class will recite poems dedicated to the occasion. Mayor Rod Craig, Village Clerk Eira L. Corral, Principal David Aleman and village staff will join them.

As Kalam visits the Chicago area in upcoming days, several other events will be held April 23-24, as well. The Indo-American Center has invited the Elsie Johnson fifth-graders to participate in a talk with former President Kalam Saturday, April 23, at Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove, where students will present Kalam with a booklet of the poems they will recite on April 29 in Hanover Park.

Hanover Park has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the 26th consecutive year.

For more information about the April 29 Arbor Day ceremony at Elsie Johnson, contact Corral at (630) 372-4221 or