Going Green in Gold Bar

Going Green in Gold Bar
Posted on 12/05/2019
Gold Bar first graders learn the value of recycling. Photo by Kathleen Kohler

Going Green in Gold Bar 

Article and Photos by Kathleen Kohler

Don’t be surprised if you hear students from Gold Bar Elementary (GBE) remind someone to recycle their empty pop can, used paper, or plastic water bottle.

Prior to Thanksgiving, first graders and kindergarteners participated in an interactive play focused on respect and care for our natural environment. First grade teacher Phyllis Tubbs arranged the presentation sponsored by Republic Services. The one-woman play raises awareness about the importance of recycling.

Recycle, Reuse, Rethink, sing-along song. Photo by Kathleen Kohler.

“Rhoda,” a professional actress, sported a red and blue super-cool cape for her starring role in Rhoda and the Grumpy Trash Can. Opening the program, she pointed to an overflowing garbage can pictured on a poster. “Why is recycling important?”

Students waved their hands, eager to provide answers. One little girl said, “If you leave it [garbage] out animals might find it, and it wouldn’t be good for them.”

A determined boy added, “We need to help take care of nature.”

Throughout the presentation children discovered the importance of recycling and how their throwaways are broken down and created into new products for people to use. They also learned that the trash they toss piles up in landfills. Students joined Rhoda in singing a medley of catchy tunes aimed at teaching which items to throw away and which ones to deposit into a recycle bin.

At the end of the 30-minute program several students volunteered to help Rhoda sort through a collection of items and decide what ones to toss in the trash and which belonged in the recycle. Whether at home or school, Rhoda recommends placing a recycle bin in an easy-to-use location next to the garbage container.

Back in their classrooms students received a coloring page with a pledge to do their best to recycle, reinforcing what they’d learned.

Recycling at GBE doesn’t end with a super-hero skit. In fact, in 2017/18 the state of Washington recognized Gold Bar Elementary as a “Green School” and awarded them a Bronze Certificate for their efforts in recycling and cutting waste. In addition, Republic Services awarded GBE the Certificate of Sustainability in both 2018 and 2019 for their outstanding efforts in promoting and practicing waste reduction and recycling at the school.

Learning to recycle is just one of the many valuable lessons children learn at Gold Bar Elementary as students and staff work to preserve our beautiful Sky Valley.