Cornelia student leadership promotes recycling; student skit will be part of grant application

Posted by EPS Communications on 1/29/2015

skit Cornelia Elementary School’s Student Leadership Team (SLT) has taken the school’s recycling program under its wing as part of its service learning project for the year. The project aims to build awareness among students and staff around the proper ways to dispose of various trash items.

With help from the Edina Public Schools (EPS) Go Green Committee, the SLT was able to secure a designated recycling bin for each room at Cornelia, something which was previously not available. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, two students from SLT visit each room to collect the recycled material.

“The kids knew they wanted to do something about ‘going green’ or recycling, so we came up with this project,” said Molly O’Keefe, 5th grade teacher and SLT adviser at Cornelia, and a member of the Go Green Committee.

In a skit performed at the Cornelia CARES Assembly on Jan. 27, SLT members acted out a scene in which students had to decide where their trash belonged. They were given three choices — organics, trash or recycling. On “Day 1,” one student threw his paper towel into the organics bin, while two others threw plastic bags into the trash. The fourth student threw her water bottle with the cap still attached into the recycling. This was pointed out as a mistake, which was resolved on “Day 2” when the fourth student threw the water bottle with the cap removed into the recycling. According to O’Keefe, the skit served as a reminder to students and staff about good waste disposal habits.

The project has also caught the attention of the district’s buildings and grounds department, which will use it as part of a grant proposal for the Hennepin County School Recycling Grant. Buildings and Grounds Specialist Melissa Williams said that if awarded, the grant would provide funds for sorting signs at the recycling stations in the cafeterias at Cornelia, Concord, Highlands, Creek Valley and Countryside Elementary Schools. Much like the SLT skit, the signs would label three bins — organics, trash and recycling.

“We want to start with the elementary schools first before we move on to the middle schools and high school,” Williams said.

The SLT at Cornelia is a group of eight 4th graders and eight 5th graders. In addition to a service learning project, their work includes recording the school announcements, reading to other students in KIDS Club and volunteering when needed at school events.