First-place winners in a T-shirt designing contest were Robert Young of Milton High School; Valerie Gibson of Barboursville High School, and Aaron Zimmerman of Huntington East High School. Two other first place winners, not pictured are Glenn Taylor of Huntington High School and Michael Ball of St. Joseph's High School.

Learning Environment
Kids learn to recycle reuse and reduce
By Kenneth R. Blake, The Herald Dispatch

Cabell County school kids are learning the three R's of managing Mother Earth's resources thanks to an effort by the county solid waste authority.

The authority used state grant money to fund a host of educational programs aimed at teaching kids to recycle, reuse and reduce garbage instead of just throwing it all away.

"I think education starts with the little people," said Fran Norton, who helped organize the educational effort for the authority.

"They bring it home. They are the ones who are going to bring the message home to their parents and make their parents aware of things."

Using money from the $30,000grant, the authority sponsored a T-shirt design contest for county 12th-graders. The contest offered $100 first prizes and $50 second prizes for the designs that best promoted recycling.

Seventeen-year-old Aaron Zimmerman, a senior at Huntington East High School, won one of five first-place prizes in the T-shirt contest for a design bearing a picture of the planet puckering up for a smooch and the message, "Recycle! Mother Earth will kiss you for it."

"The whole environmental movement- I wasn't really very conscientious about it when I first heard about the contest. But I think it's something everyone should take part in," said Zimmerman, who plans to go to art school after graduating.

Fellow first-place winner Robert Young, an 18-year-old senior at Milton High School, said the contest reinforced his concern for responsible management of the earth's resources.

Also interested in art, he creates collages using recyclables. "I first got into it last year. I was noticing that there was so much waste- people just throw stuff away when it could be put to good use."

The authority also sponsored an essay contest for ninth-graders and a poster contest for sixth-graders. Winners in all three contests will receive their cash prizes during Earth Day events scheduled Saturday in Ritter Park.

In addition to the contest, the authority bought recycling books for every second-, third-, and fourth-grade student in the county.

Also, every third-grade student received a cassette tape of "recycled songs" that replace the lyrics of familiar tunes with new lyrics that explain the importance of recycling and environmental awareness.

The authority also bought a television and videocassette recorder combination and "Earth at Risk" videotapes for the county library and its branches.

The libraries will use the VCRs and tapes to set up environmental research departments. More tapes and books will be added as funds become available.

Finally, the authority ordered an Environmental Jeopardy game for each sixth-grade classroom in the county, bought U.S. Environmental Protection Agency comic books to be handed out on Earth Day and is working with Barboursville High School on a play called "To save Mother Earth" written by Barboursville student Shelley Beaver and produced by volunteer Lee Ann Beckett of Pea Ridge.

"Our Earth and its resources are the legacy we leave all our children," Norton said. "In order for them to walk securely into the future these same children need to know how to manage that Earth so that it can continue to support life as it has in the past.

"Teaching them the three R's- recycle reuse and reduce- will give them the knowledge they need to manage the Earth and its resources."

Article as it originally appeared.

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