NEW HAVEN — A multi-entity recycling program in the Town of New Haven is aiming not only to reduce the area’s ecological footprint, but shine a light on literacy, as well.
Shayla Blackshire, a fourth grade teacher at New Haven Elementary School (NHES), approached the New Haven council in late summer, requesting assistance with the project. Following the council’s nod of approval and participation, Blackshire also incorporated the help of the New Haven Library. The year-long project is being undertaken by the third and fourth grade classes and their teachers.
A large recycling bin has been placed on the corner of the NHES property, near the entrance to the staff parking lot. The public, as well as students, are urged to recycle cardboard, newspaper, aluminum, and bi-metals (such as soup and vegetable cans).
Once a person has deposited a total of 10 pounds of recyclables into the bin, he can go to the New Haven Library and receive a new children’s book for free. Blackshire said the program is being operated on the honor system, with the person being trusted to not take books without recycling.
She said all books will be given out at the library in the hopes of not only having children read more because of the free book, but having the public visit the library more often. The county libraries are offering a number of programs this year to promote reading, as well as arts and other activities.
Ken Vickers, a New Haven councilman, said the project will help the town financially. With the municipality providing trash pick-up for its residents, a decrease in the amount of trash will reduce the town’s landfill fee.
Students can take in their recyclables (in smaller amounts) to Blackshire’s room at the school, where the amount will be tracked until a book is earned. Students will also be completing classroom projects and learning about recycling in all areas of their education, including science, math, art, reading, and social students, the teacher added. A recycling club is also being established for the older students.
Blackshire stated while the project will continue through the school year, she is hoping it will be so successful that it can be ongoing. The teacher said she is working to add office paper and plastics to the accepted list of recyclables.
Anyone wanting to donate a new children’s book for the program, or wanting more information, can contact Blackshire at the school at 304-882-2025.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.