WWF-Canada Blog:

Painting the town recycled

Alexandra Fell-Davis, the director of the school, came up with the idea of making recyclable crafts as an Earth Day celebration this year.  Students took the challenge of using only recyclable materials for their arts and crafts.  They understand what happens to the mounds of garbage that collect in landfills, and decided to do something to change that.  They encourage their parents to recycle at home, and bring in all sorts of recyclable items to store in the ‘recycling room’.

Teacher and curriculum development manager, Jasmina Gustin enthusiastically states that they “are really trying to reach out into the community and create learning opportunities for students.”  With this in mind, she realized that these recyclable crafts shouldn’t be hidden behind school walls – and so “Painting the Town Recycled” sprouted.  The arts and crafts would be displayed in the community and sold to fund raise for a charity of the children’s choosing.

Jasmina gave the students a list of many charity options, but they were drawn strongly to the polar bears they had learned about earlier in the year.  They wanted all of the proceeds to go to WWF-Canada!  The day of the event was exciting and fun-filled for the whole community.  It took place in the downtown Oakville square, with face painters, games, etc.  There were posters from WWF spread throughout the outdoor gallery and children sat proudly at tables with their crafts displayed in front of them.

A whopping $260 worth of crafts were sold that day!  Jasmina jokes that there were some pretty abstract pieces, but it was more about raising awareness and having the kids do something for their environment.  Oakville saw some great things from tiny kids at “Painting the Town Recycled”.  Jasmina knows that “they are full of ideas but don’t know how to put them to good use.”  Given the tools though, they can clearly do great things.

What’s next for the children at The Chartwell House?  They will definitely continue recycling and composting to reduce the amount of waste their school produces.   Also, doing school cleanups is one of their favorite activities.  Their excitement at showing teachers what they find illustrates that they understand the importance of keeping the outdoors clean.  As for community involvement, the children will be participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup this September, where they will do their part to keep their shoreline clean.

The children who painted the town recycled are an inspiration.  We can all learn something from their passion for making a difference and powerful actions.


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