Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

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Clinton County Middle School wins for recycling projects

The CCMS PRIDE Club is pictured here with their award, along with PRIDE Club Sponsors Rachel Bernard and Ashley McWhorter, CCMS Principal Teresa Scott, and Becky Calhoun of Eastern Kentucky PRIDE.

The CCMS PRIDE Club is pictured here with their award, along with PRIDE Club Sponsors Rachel Bernard and Ashley McWhorter, CCMS Principal Teresa Scott, and Becky Calhoun of Eastern Kentucky PRIDE. Photo by Clinton County Schools.

Clinton County Middle School held an assembly today to celebrate that the school’s PRIDE Club received the PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award, which recognizes an outstanding act of service performed in the 42-county region of southern and eastern Kentucky.

The club earned the award for leading others to recycle. The students in the PRIDE Club expanded the school’s recycling program this fall, and they found a fun way to encourage students to recycle.

“You should take great pride in doing your part to help our environment by recycling,” PRIDE’s Becky Calhoun told the school’s 500 students before she presented the award. “You also can take great pride in knowing that students lead your recycling program. I am impressed by their dedication to collecting the recyclables, week after week, and by the creative ways they are encouraging everyone to participate.”

The PRIDE Club, which is sponsored by Rachel Bernard and Ashley McWhorter, purchased recycling collection bins for all classrooms, using a PRIDE Environmental Education Grant. Near each bin, club members hung a landfill poster as a reminder of where garbage ends up if it is not recycled. Club members are responsible for emptying the bins, and they are collecting and recycling more than 35 bags of paper, plastics and aluminum each week.

To promote recycling, the club organized a schoolwide PRIDE Rally to coincide with America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. The rally began with a scene from the Disney/Pixar movie WALL-E, which is set on an abandoned, waste-covered Earth in the future. Then, teams of students raced in a recycling relay. Students heard about the importance of recycling, and they received flyers that explained how to use Clinton County’s recycling program. Representatives of Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) brought the Scotty Dog Recycling Mascot and gave each student a seed packet.

“This group of young student leaders planned the whole rally,” said Melissa A. Melton, RCAP Technical Assistance Provider, who attended the rally and nominated the students for a PRIDE award. “The only adult participation was contest judging and provision of other event props. I was super impressed with this PRIDE Club and this particular event.”

“It is wonderful that you students are recycling here at school, and I hope you are talking to your families about recycling, too,” Calhoun told the assembled students. “Even if your family isn’t too excited at first, you keep doing your part, and it will add up over time. Recycling reduces the amount of litter in our community, makes space in landfills last longer, and it saves energy, too.”

“We are so proud of our students for their work with PRIDE!” said Principal Teresa Scott. “We hope the whole community will get on board with recycling.”

The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month program recognizes outstanding service through PRIDE, which promotes environmental education and cleanup efforts across 42 counties. Congressman Hal Rogers co-founded PRIDE in 1997 with the late General James E. Bickford, who was the Kentucky Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The PRIDE web site is www.kypride.org.

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