Find Out How These Recycle Rally Classrooms Get So Much Out of Their Programs
Producing mindful global citizens may be Recycle Rally participation's greatest reward.
Recycle Rally classroom benefits go beyond points, parties, and swag (but yeah, those are pretty cool). We talked to a few school recycling leaders about how Recycle Rally has made a meaningful impact.
Recycle Rally classroom benefits bring teamwork and leadership.
Recycling leadership for agricultural teacher Dixie McCarty has been an over 20-year journey. She enjoys the camaraderie Recycle Rally provides the school community at Elbert County Middle School in Elberton, GA. It’s a team effort to get students, teachers, custodians, and the entire community involved beyond just setting bins outside their classrooms each week. “It doesn’t fall just on myself and a few students,” Ms. McCarty says. “Students go above and beyond in their efforts for small rewards. The biggest thrill is coming together as a school community brings us a sense of purpose and belonging.”
Ms. McCarty jokes that if she’s a few minutes late picking up bags, the school’s Community Based Learning class students come and find her. She loves that students from a wide range of academic abilities come together. “The kids think about recycling as much more than just plastic and paper,” she says, “They even consider things like how shoes might be made into material for a running track.”
Recycle Rally classroom benefits instill earth mindfulness.
East Fort Worth, Texas technology teacher Javier Aguilar wanted to teach his young students an awareness of the world around them. The waste they were producing seemed an obvious issue. Javier thought participating in Recycle Rally was a solid win. It’s important for the children to feel a connection to something greater than themselves. “We ask all of our students to participate and have conversations about why recycling is important to their future,” he says.
East Fort Worth Montessori Academy students’ recycling efforts have created a domino effect in sustainability mindfulness that carries over to new projects and initiatives. Mr. Aguilar says upper-grade students recently did research on composting and recycling that they presented to their parents and school. “We are so grateful this program supports our whole community,” he says. “All of our students will continue to create environmental awareness to save our planet.”
Recycle Rally classroom benefits promote student activism.
Ryle High School in Union, Kentucky has many passionate earth advocates on its hands. Environmental science teacher, Lisa Edmonds, is their inspiration. Ms. Edmonds, who already coordinated the recycling effort at school, believed Recycle Rally would be the edge her students needed. The real goal was to find a passion for the world outside their high school bubble. Therefore, it was time to get creative. “We promoted recycling throughout the school using Recycle Rally posters and flyers, along with ones the kids made. The students became the driving force.”
Their creative marketing strategy included making morning announcements celebrating their recycling goals and wins. The result? Team efforts began to pay off. Ms. Edmonds says that before Recycle Rally, maybe only 15 percent of plastic bottles and aluminum were put in recycling bins. Now? She estimates 75 percent of recyclables are put in bins at lunch and in the classroom.
“We still have room for improvement,” Ms. Edmonds says. “Next year, the kids are going to be doing more toward our goal of 90-95 percent of plastic bottles and aluminum cans being recycled. The kids have become leaders in our school for educating other students and people at their homes and their work.”
There are so many great ways to create recycling passion in your classroom! Find your green leadership inspiration with some of our favorite recycling resources for school communities.