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Pioneer Academy's Third Graders Help School Win 'Recycling Champion' Title

By Smriti Rao | May 15, 2012 5:10pm
A third-grade Green Team has helped Pioneer Academy win the 2012 Green Cup Recycle Challenge.
A third-grade Green Team has helped Pioneer Academy win the 2012 Green Cup Recycle Challenge.
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Pioneer Academy

CORONA — Bin there, done that!

Six months after being inspired by the eco-documentary ‘Bag It,’ a science teacher at Pioneer Academy P.S. 307Q has helped her little green army of third-graders win this year’s '2012 Green Cup Recycle Challenge', a national competition for K-12 schools that promotes recycling and waste reduction.

During the four-week challenge, Pioneer Academy, a pre-k to 4th grade school at 40-20 100th St. beat other competing schools by correctly sorting almost all of its recycling and trash bins, shunning plastic and using reusable bottles.

With 106 points in their bag, the school was crowned ‘Recycling Champion.’

Jasmin Andujar, Pioneer’s science teacher who managed the third-grade Green Team, said watching ‘Bag It’ made her realize she needed to do her part "to teach children about protecting the Earth."

Her first task was to create the Green Team, which made sure each class had separate trash and recycle bins.

"Each week, the Green Team swept through the school and posted "Green Inspection Grades" on every classroom and office door," Andujar said. "G" for green, "M" for making progress, and "P" for polluting.

The stinging ‘P’ grade forced teachers to clean up their acts — making sure they were recycling properly and reducing waste when it was possible.

Pioneer’s green turn in October last year gave them the edge to beat other schools, including The Hewitt School, in the challenge this year.

Andujar said winning the Recycle Challenge was a source of pride for the kids as it showed them that the work they do every week pays off.