Washingtonville Students Recycling for Inclusive Playground
By Eugenia Moskowitz
A group of students from Round Hill Elementary School’s fifth grade presented their large recycling project, describing how they’re reinforcing the study of environmental and earth sciences while adding vital funding to the Lions Den Inclusive Playground expansion being planned for Memorial Park on Ahern Blvd., in Washingtonville.
Their presentation at the Board of Education meeting on Feb. 11 at Round Hill laid out, in a PowerPoint presentation, why the recycling project was undertaken, what the Inclusive Playground is all about, and what environmental and economic benefits are gained from recycling. They also explained exactly how the recycling project at Round Hill was run: from the boxes used to collect the bottles and cans, to the collection system, how the labor is divided to take in the recyclables, how the bottles are sorted and the values tallied up, and how monthly record-keeping and finances were handled.
Principal Steve Kiel said, “One of the six key strategies that we focus on at Round Hill is for our students to make connections to the environment, the community, and ultimately to a global network. The community recycling program that these students have taken on brings us closer to the realization of that goal. I am so proud to see their daily enthusiasm, responsibility, and sense of community.”
Fifth grade teachers Mrs. Martirano, Ms. Trippedo, and Mrs. Carlo expressed the pride they have for their students. Student Ashley A. said, “I think this is a great thing we are doing, getting closer to each other and helping the environment.” Joseph M. said, “Even though we’re a small community, what we are doing is helping the world.” Christian E. said, “The environment is something we take for granted, but we have to realize that it needs to be taken care of.”
Student Jada W. said, “All the money is going towards a new playground that will be for all children to enjoy.” Myles W. agreed, saying, “We are helping build a playground for children with all abilities.”The children also stated future plans to bring back the Round Hill Garden, start a composting club, and expressed other ideas about environmental sciences and projects at the school.
Taft Elementary School has also taken an active role in the recycling efforts with students in Mrs. Bucco and Mrs. Yager’s classes collecting 4,500 recyclables thus far and purchasing an engraved brick for the playground’s pathways.
After the Round Hill presentation, students handed out green recycle bags for audience members to take home, fill with deposit bottles and cans, and return to Brookside Auto on Hallock Drive to support the Inclusive Playground. Lions Club organizer Celina Rofer said she was very impressed with the professionalism and determination the students displayed. “To date, they have collected 8,318 bottles and cans. Every can and bottle adds up, bringing the playground closer to starting. I was on the verge of tears the whole time they presented.”
For more information on the playground, go to the Greater Washingtonville Lions Club facebook page, or text Celina Rofer directly at 845-492-1715.
CAPTION 1: The fifth grade students at Washingtonville’s Round Hill Elementary School in front of their bulletin board explaining the complex ongoing recycling project they have successfully undertaken and presented at the Feb. 11 Board of Education meeting. (Photos provided)
CAPTION 2: The students explained to their audience, in a PowerPoint presentation, how their project encompasses science, economics, and the practical funding of Washingtonville’s future Lions Den Inclusive Playground.