MOOERS - Students at Mooers Elementary School are receiving an education - in recycling.
The school recently implemented a plan to recycle used paper in an effort to teach children how to limit the number of items sent to landfills. Principal Dennis A. Rasco said the school's recycling efforts came about as part of a district-wide initiative to become more conscious of the impact people have on the environment.
Fifth-graders head up the elementary school's effort, volunteering to empty designated waste baskets into the recycling receptacles on a regular basis, said Rasco. The receptacles are then taken curbside weekly by the school's head custodian, Kevin Martin. It's estimated the school saves approximately 400 pounds of paper from being deposited in the landfill each week.
"This is an excellent opportunity to involve our students in helping to create a mind-set of creating a greener environment," said Rasco. "Everyone is involved and the entire recycling practice really makes people think twice before simply throwing something away. The teachers have been very supportive, too."
The initiative has not only begun to have an impact on the environment, but on the students as well.
"We usually go at recess or snack time and collect the paper," said student Mark Jock. "That's it. It's pretty easy to do."
Morgan Forkey agreed, saying she is glad she has learned more about how she can contribute to the recycling process.
"I think it's good for our environment and it's good we can do this for our school," said Forkey. "Recycling is good for the earth and every kid should know how."
"I enjoy [the recycling program] very much because it's better than throwing away paper you can reuse," said student Melany Adams. "I think it's very important because more kids are asking about recycling and learning about it."
Having Mooers Elementary on board with other schools in the district-wide initiative is something of which district superintendent Peter J. Turner said he is very proud.
"The district is taking steps to be more environmentally-friendly," he explained. "Students and teachers in the high school were instrumental in pushing for paper recycling. High school and middle school students volunteered to collect the paper along with elementary students in each building."
Those efforts are being combined with the anticipated purchase of plastic lunch trays next year for the high school said Turner, in part from student and faculty concerns over the amount of trash generated with disposable containers.
"Faculty, staff and students in each of the buildings deserve credit for making this happen," Turner said of the combined efforts.