Fifth-graders cut waste with worm power

Greywolf students lead recycling and compost projects

Through slimy, stinky and clunky conditions, fifth-graders Dallas Allen, Morgan

King, Grant Witherell and Alexander Mittmann go through their school's main hall each day collecting plastic recyclables and compostable materials for the school's worm bins.

"They are the compost kings and queens," said Renee Mullikan, second-grade teacher and program coordinator.

Baskets for compostable fruits and vegetables are placed between classrooms at lunchtime. The students collect the baskets, sorting the plastics and adding used coffee grounds from the teachers lounge to the compostables. They combine and chop up the organic contents in buckets outside.

About 15-25 pounds of food are being composted and saved from going in the garbage each day.

"I like it so far. I'm involved because I can make a difference," King said.

The program was started to complement the second-graders' school garden and as part of the school's job program. Students apply for positions such as recess managers, lunchroom helpers and more.

"When kids don't feel connected, this is a neat thing to help them," Mullikan said.

"The reward is keeping the school looking nice. They are very proud."

Mittmann said he has enjoyed recycling so much that he plans to help out at the middle school next year.

"It's this generation that's getting it done," Mullikan said.

Greywolf third-graders discuss Earth Day

For Earth Day, third-grade teacher Chris Stevens at Greywolf Elementary discussed the environment with his students and how they can make an impact in a positive way.

"We determined that more of our class takes showers (16 gallons) than baths (70 gallons) and that is better for our water supply, Stevens said. "As a class, we also decided that we would try to turn off the water when we brush our teeth."

Here are some of the students' other responses.

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