By Phil Corso
The quiet streets between PS 169 and the Bay Terrace Waldbaum’s were met with the sounds of nearly 70 little voices Monday as kindergarten students lugged bags of recyclable products to the supermarket.
It was their first trip of many throughout the coming weeks as the classes at the 18-25 212th St. school said they hoped to raise money for a charitable cause.
Class K-123 teacher Lindsay Anastasi said a group effort by four elementary school classes came together to celebrate Earth Day last week. Since then, she said, the students drove the conversation, which was geared toward collecting money from a nearby recycling facility for a purpose.
Almost one week later, the group’s first trip to a nearby recycling center raised nearly $12 with much more to come.
“These kids are amazing,” Anastasi said. “They’re doing all this work and it isn’t even new to them.”
Outside their classrooms, the kids collected plastic bags, bottles, newspapers and cans in decorated cardboard boxes in observance of Earth Day. Though they still have not decided where they will donate the money, the 68 students said they agreed to donate it to either the school or a local charity.
“We wanted to help clean up because of Earth Day,” kindergartner Katelyn Song said.
According to Anastasi, a class discussion on Earth Day had her classroom buzzing with ideas on how to help the environment. Since then, the class started collecting recyclable items from home and bringing them into school. Her class, along with three others, will make two trips to the nearby Bay Terrace Waldbaum’s each week until all their items are recycled.
“They really see the bigger picture,” Anastasi said.
Anastasi’s class joined with Veronica Morales’ K-129 class, Stephanie Garcia’s K-127 class and Jessamyn dePaola’s K-124 class for the trek to Waldbaum’s.
“I think it’s a great thing for all the kids to give back to the school,” Morales said. “We’ve got such a great community and it’s because of efforts like these.”
PS 169 Principal Vanessa Chambers said the same group of kids contributed while they were in pre-kindergarten classes, participating in the Penny Harvest educational program for fund-raising and community service.
“We want the students to learn how to be active in their communities and how to give back,” Chambers said. “It’s really nice to see them become so productive so early in their lives.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573