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Students promote recycling with new club

Students at Schwartz Elementary School are promoting recycling with a new Comp Club. The group is making mats out of plastic bags and posters to promote recycling at their school. Photo by Jeff Harrison

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

Mother Earth has some new allies at Schwartz Elementary School.

A group of students are promoting recycling in their school and working on environmentally friendly projects as part of the newly founded Comp Club.

The group meets on Tuesday mornings before school. Their first projects include creating mats that are made from woven plastic bags and signs promoting recycling. The mats will be given to homeless people.

Jo Barks, a fifth-grader, was inspired to start the club after reading about landfills in class, and seeing students placing recyclable trash in the regular trash can during lunch.

Jo Barks, a fifth-grader, started Comp Club at Schwartz Elementary School to promote recycling. Photo by Jeff Harrison

“Since I knew that adds to landfills and puts plastic in the ocean, I thought of making Comp Club,” she said.

She approached her science teacher Christy Combs about starting a recycling club and asked if she would be the sponsor. The club quickly took off and several other fifth-graders joined. The students have spent much of their time working on the mat project. They cut up plastic shopping bags into strips that will be used to weave a mat. The clubs’ goal is to make 10 mats before Christmas.

“I had a plastic bag sitting on my table and I thought that was a perfect example,” Combs said. “I was reminded that I have these mats that we gave out to homeless people. I approached Jo about doing it as a project and she loved it. So it was just kind of a fluke thing.”

Jo said she’s had an interest in environmental issues and wants to be an activist when she grows up. She hopes to not only create projects but also make a difference in her school.

“It’s not only making mats but it’s also about teaching why we need to recycle and what we should recycle,” Jo said.

Students are asking Schwartz Elementary families to donate any plastic bags to the school and they will be used to make more mats.

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