By Lisa Fischer
SCOTIA — Central Valley Elementary School (CVES) students in grades K-3 had a one of kind recycling experience at school on Jan. 20.
Amy Hughes and Mary Hughes, Project Coordinators of Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) began leading CVES students in a Recycled CD/DVD Art project that requires damaged CD or DVDs, colored paper, scissors, string and rubber cement to complete last Friday after lunch. In 45-minute intervals the pair led every student through the project Amy developed about three months ago during her first time testing it out on students. In fact, she heard positive responses from the students regarding the craft project and was pleased to note their understanding of why recycling is important.
“Projects like these are simple, fun and helps to reduce our impact on the environment,” Amy said. “It also lets the kids know there are options for recycling besides sending items to a facility.”
Amy coordinated a time with Central Valley Elementary after an inquiry from CVES Kindergarten Teacher Holly Perrot.
“My hopes with bringing Loup Basin RC&D/Keep Loup Basin Beautiful into the classroom were that our students would be able to see the importance of recycling and the possibilities of reusing,” Mrs. Perrot said. “Students need to see the importance of different teachings not only within the classroom, but also apply it beyond the classroom walls!”
Mrs. Perrot, like teachers, businesses and others organizations found within the 13 counties, Blaine, Boyd, Cherry, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Holt, Howard, Loup, Rock, Sherman, Valley and Wheeler and approximately 60 school districts, is routinely notified of KLBB’s programs and thought Amy’s new program would appeal to Central Valley Elementary students. So, Amy and Mrs. Perrot coordinated a day and times that would appeal to her and as many other CVES teachers as possible.
“The information from KLBB regarding recycling was brought to my attention at a teachers meeting in December by Mrs. Shafer,” Perrot noted. “Our kindergarten science curriculum includes a unit on recycling, and KLBB was the completion of the unit.”
The school provided Amy and Mary with damaged CDs, colored paper and scissors in order to complete the project within each classroom. While there the pair, along with classroom teachers and paraprofessionals, directed children in the tracing and cutting out of paper of their choice before helping students affix paper to CDs. With paper glued to CDs students were directed to glue a picture of themselves atop of the paper before being asked what they could do with the finished product. After Amy prompted children to consider putting a string or a hook on the back of CDs in order to hang the project from a wall, CVES 2nd grade Teacher Julia Wood’s students had a few more ideas.
“It could be a Christmas Tree decoration,” said Brooklyn Perrot.
Noting the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday Amy suggested students decorate their CDs for a family member or friend in class if time allowed. During the programs she and Mary suggested the CDs be used for wall art in student’s rooms or as gifts to friends and family while remembering the purpose of the craft project… the importance of recycling.
“Why is it important to recycle or reuse items?” Amy asked a roomful of second graders who replied, “You don’t want to just waste things” and “So you don’t fill up the landfills.”
Recycling is also used in several of the teacher’s curriculum at CVES. Wood for example encourages students to recycle as part of her 2nd grade class’s upcoming Earth Science curriculum. Through the use of recycled cardboard and paper, students create a maze their classmates use marbles to complete.
Amy noted a successful day instructing students on the ins and outs of the CD/DVD project and was glad to see students like CVES 2nd grader Dale Barr having such a good time recycling.
“Recycling is fun because you get to make new things out of old things,” Barr added.
Keep Loup Basin Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and is part of a nation-wide network of organizations dedicated to creating healthy and vibrant communities. KLBB conducts educational programs for all ages, preschool through seniors. Please contact KLBB project coordinators if you would like to set up a presentation for your class or civic group. KLBB also does a variety of projects that support KAB’s mission. In the past these have included trash pick-ups, event recycling, planting pollinator plant species, household-hazardous waste collections, appliance collections, Christmas light recycling and information booths. Keep an eye on KLBB’s website www.keeploupbasinbeautiful.org and your local newspaper for up-coming projects and events. Information about KLBB can also be obtained by calling 308.346.3393 or by emailing [email protected]
Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) is grant-funded through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and Keep America Beautiful; and is a project of the Loup Basin RC&D Council that promotes litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, and beautification. KLBB serves thirteen counties in central and north-central Nebraska. For more information about KLBB’s education programs, email KLBB at [email protected], visit www.keeploupbasinbeautiful.org, or like them on Facebook. Contact the Loup Basin RC&D office (308)-346-3393 or stop by the office at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center, 330 South Highway 11 Burwell, Nebraska.