Sladics plants seeds at Newport Elementary

NEWPORT BEACH — Chanelle Sladics posed a question to second- and third-graders at Newport Elementary School Thursday morning.

"Are you guys excited to plant some seeds?" Sladics, the pro snowboarder, asked the kids.

"Yes," the 23 Newport El students responded.

Sladics ended up being excited too, to plant the seeds, figuratively and literally.

Sladics, 28, visited her former school, and taught the children about organic foods, as well as planting within plastic bottles to help the environment.

Sladics was the host of an eco-friendly gardening project to honor Earth Month. She is no stranger to these type of projects.

This month she is the ambassador for Ritual JuiceBox located at The Camp in Costa Mesa. The store is from Ritual Wellness based in Irvine. Ritual Wellness co-founders Marra St. Clair and Lori Kenyon Farley were also at Thursday's gardening project and helped Sladics.

About two years ago, Sladics was part of the One Life Argentina Greenhouse Project. She helped with creating a greenhouse made out of plastics. She was with a group that collected plastic bottles and other plastics and then built the greenhouse.

Sladics is also the founder of the Community Cup, which took place recently at Breckenridge, Colo., her home mountain.

Competitors pledged to be plastic-free for the weekend and Sladics promoted the eco concept throughout the weekend.

Sladics is amid her offseason but she definitely stays busy. Just last month, a video was released of her racing on her snowboard against a McLaren car on a snow-covered mountain.

She appeared energetic and happy to be back where she grew up. She has come a long way since graduating from Newport Harbor, where she played field hockey and soccer, in 2003.

Back then, she left after one week at UC Santa Barbara to join MTV's Triple Threat show, which helped launch her pro career.

She's competed internationally, and in the X Games, and has worked on-air for ESPN.

"It's kind of cool to start here in Newport Beach, never expecting to become a professional snowboarder," Sladics said just before the second- and third-graders entered the garden at the school by the beach. "Now I've traveled the world competing internationally receiving medals in the highest-rated competitions in the world and to now come back where I came from and being able to contribute in some way to the school that I went to is really special for me."

Sladics has a special partnership with Ritual JuiceBox this month. Each time the Red Energy drink is purchased at the juice shop, 10% of the sale goes to Sladics' choice, which is the Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) Project.

"We couldn't be happier to have such a great representative, not only for Newport Beach and the community, but also for environmental causes," Kenyon Farley said.

Kenyon Farley, as well as Sladics, believed it was important to teach elementary school students on Thursday so they can learn at a young age about eco-friendly projects. Sladics also worked with sixth-grade students in another session.

Through competing and traveling the world Sladics said she discovered more about her body and immersed herself in a healthy lifestyle, that includes organic foods and saving the environment. She once spent three months in Bali, where she became a certified yoga instructor.

Back when she played field hockey for Newport Harbor, she was on the team known as Chix With Stix. Now she's a chick with a cause.

She's also started a company, Simply Straws, with her family, Steve (father), Cyndi (mother) and Trent (brother).

Simply Straws sells reusable glass straws. They wanted to have an alternative to the plastic straws that could be damaging to the environment, Sladics said.

"It's been a really neat project for us," Sladics said.

Thursday at Newport El also turned out to be pretty neat.

Twitter: @SteveVirgen

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