CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — They’re a good luck charm not only for people—but for the planet.

On this Earth Day, kids at the Chesterbrook Academy Preschool Preston in Cary were buzzing with excitement, as they released 3,000 ladybugs in the school’s playground area.

There were lots of squeals and giggles and the 3, 4 and 5-year-olds even dressed up in the colors of their new six-legged friends.

“A ladybug!” exclaimed four-year-old Eliana.

The preschoolers knew they were doing something to help the plants in their schoolyard and community.

“We’re touching ladybugs and then we will release them,” said 5-year-old Sadie.

WNCN photo/Hayley Fixler

The kids had been learning a lot in anticipation of the big occasion.

“We don’t have to use pesticides to kill the bugs that are killing the plants we can do something that’s eco-friendly. This is something that’s going to stick with them for the rest of their lives,” explained Principal Tawni Mosley.

The message is already sinking in.

“We think we’re helping the world because the ladybugs get released to help the environment,” said 5-year-old Maisie. “We’re helping the ladybugs keep the Earth clean,” added Sadie. 

The ladybugs were shipped from California for this annual Earth Day community project.