Source
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

Caring For Their Community

Students’ recycling program helps makes entire county more environmentally friendly

By Joe McIntyre | April 21 , 2008
A student from the recycling program in Angola, New York recycles paper at his high school. (Photo Courtesy: Joe McIntyre)
A student from the recycling program in Angola, New York recycles paper at his high school. (Photo Courtesy: Joe McIntyre)

Some environmental problems seem so complex they leave many people feeling helpless in working toward a solution. However, students in the High School Life Skills Class at Erie II BOCES School in Angola, New York, have learned there are some things that individuals can do to improve our planet.

In fact, the class has taken it upon themselves to create and manage their own recycling program.

It all started with a classroom conversation between teacher Jane Lewis and her students about landfills and how they negatively impact the environment. The students began to notice how much recyclable material was being thrown into the trash at the school. So they decided to personally visit every classroom and office in their school and pick up all the paper and cardboard that could be recycled. That was six years ago, and the program is still going strong.

How It Works

Students fill up bags with the recyclables they find around the school. Then they load the bags up on a flatbed and throw them into a recycling dumpster. The students keep track of how much they recycle with a large graph they display at the school.

Matt Baran, a student in Ms. Lewis' class, said they have expanded the program to include the local county courthouse and office buildings.

The county employees appreciate and support the recycling efforts of the students. County executive Gregory Edwards says, "This is a great example for all of us on how we can make a difference in our county by promoting recycling at our schools, work sites, and homes."

The students stay motivated to keep their recycling program going because they know it has a significant and positive impact on the environment.

For example, from 2006-2007, the group recycled 7 tons of paper and cardboard, and 14,490 cans and bottles! Ms. Lewis says that the recycling program has also been a good learning experience for her students, as it has helped them develop their personal work ethic too.

What I Think

If we don't continue to find ways to clean and preserve our environment, our Earth will suffer.

There's no better time to start participating in the national effort to preserve our planet than on Earth Day, April 22. The now-global holiday was established in the United States in 1970. It is a day to think about our planet and get people interested in protecting their environment by reducing pollution, and conserving water and energy.

I think the true meaning of Earth Day is illustrated by the hard work of the Erie II BOCES students. They exemplify the impact that the efforts of a few people can have on our environment.

Student recycler Derek Cleland says, "We want to see who will help us recycle by putting cans, bottles, and paper in separate bins, and not throw them away."

Will you be one of those people?

EARTH DAY

Celebrate Earth Day with Scholastic News Online! Learn more about how you can help take care of our planet in this special report.

MORE NEWS FOR KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from Scholastic News Online.

 

About the Author

Joe McIntyre is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Pine Trees

    Pine Trees

    by Allan Fowler

    Rookie Read-About® Science brings a broad array of topics to vibrant life with striking, full-color photos and just the right amount of fun, factual, fascinating text.

    $3.71 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 1-2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Pine Trees
    Grades 1-2 $3.71
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Bill Nye the Science Guy's Consider the Following

    Bill Nye the Science Guy's Consider the Following

    by Bill Nye Ian Saunders and Anton Kimball

    In a fun-filled book, TV’s wackiest scientist answers questions and proves each answer through simple but fascinating experiments. Readers learn how to make a hovercraft, construct an eardrum, turn a needle into a compass, and build an eye! Contains a glossary and index.

    $4.46 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 5-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Bill Nye the Science Guy's Consider the Following
    Grades 5-6 $4.46
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com