Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Teaching Waste?

While visiting the Easter party at my son's preschool this past spring, I was shocked to learn that his preschool, one of the largest in town, does not participate in any recycling efforts. I was so surprised and disappointed in myself for not having researched this earlier. We moved to town after the school year had begun and we were lucky enough to get him into this school that presented itself as one of the best in every other aspect.

I noticed the assistant teacher going to throw out a plastic cupcake container and that's when I asked her about recycling at the school.

"No, we don't do anything like that here," she responded.

What?!!! "anything like that..." You mean, incorporating the idea of respecting and nurturing our planet into the daily existence of our children's lives? Do you mean, we don't do anything like teach them that throwing away recyclable items such as the plastic container, is being wasteful and LAZY...

Oh. I'm so disappointed to hear this. And I began to question the school's motives. It's so important to teach the kids about their alphabet, about God's love for them (it's a Christian based school) about being kind to one another...but it's not a priority to teach them about being kind to the Earth? Or about reducing the amount of waste we as humans create each and every day? In my opinion, in this day and age, it is simply unacceptable.

My goal is to set up a meeting this summer with the director of the school to see how I can help start some sort of recycling effort in the school. We can start small, and hopefully if other's help and get involved we can grow.

What are your experiences with teaching little one's about recycling? Do you have any suggestions on how I should approach this subject with the director of the school?

Thanks, Kate


StacyO said...

I think you will get a positive response from the director, but I suspect that the burden will be on you and whatever team of parents you can organize to implement the recycling program. After 7 years of preschool (really daycare for this working mama), I learned that as long as a parent was willing to take responsibility and not put the burden on the employees, my church preschool embraced most new ideas.

kate said...

Thanks for your thoughts Stacy. I think you are right about all of this and I am prepared to offer help in whatever capacity I am able to extend. If nothing else I am willing to manage all of the recycling efforts in his classroom!

Lizzie said...

i applaud you for speaking up! way to go :) i think the key in our house was letting the kids be involved in every aspect of recycling (picking where the bins go, decorating them, letting them throw the recyclables in there) they get excited when it's "their project."

good luck!

Scribe816 said...
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Paolo Barone said...

It is really to admire how you're reacting to the situation, I really hope you find your way to change this school for the good... and to this end I might have the perfect solution.

The right way to get the school into recycling it's by approaching them with their own weapon EDUCATION.

Some time ago I ran into Rustle the Leaf, it's a series of entertaining comic strips on the environment, they also give you a lot of extra information and help as Earth Day e-cards, wallpapers and more fun stuff for the kids. Most important of all they have monthly lessons plans aimed at kids in schools to get them more familiar with the situation of our environment, I think it might work just perfectly if you got these resources inside the school.

Their site is http://www.rustletheleaf.com/index.html

Let me know if that works for you,
Good Luck.

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