Good Life

Centre County fifth-graders use artwork to promote recycling

Ally Duncan, a fifth-grader at Gray’s Woods Elementary School, created one of the winning recycling posters.
Ally Duncan, a fifth-grader at Gray’s Woods Elementary School, created one of the winning recycling posters. Photo provided

Ah, to be young and entrepreneurial again.

Blake Wheeler is a fifth-grader at Wingate Elementary School and one of 15 students from Centre County to be recognized on Wednesday for his award-winning entry in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Read” poster contest.

In addition to a framed copy of his work— don’t worry, the frame is made from recycled materials — Blake and his cohorts each received a $25 Weis Markets gift card.

“I’m going to give it to my gram because my gram shops here a lot,” Blake said.

Gram will then promptly pay him out $25 in cash so that he can go buy a toy.

Blake’s early command of American commerce notwithstanding, the occasion was really about reading, recycling and how today’s kids are still totally in favor of both of those things.

“It helps save the earth and you don’t waste,” Blake said.

The contest was sponsored by International Literacy Day and the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority in partnership with Weis Markets and the CDT.

More than 300 students from across the county submitted artwork, but only 15 were assembled at the front of the Bellefonte Weis on Wednesday.

“When I say that this is some of the most fun we have all year, it really is,” Joanne Shafer, executive director and recycling coordinator with the CCRRA, told a small crowd.

Blake used the Google Drawings app to create a portrait of two Pac-Men. Depicted alone in what appears to be a wooded area, the duo still managed to locate a recycling bin.

“I went camping somewhere and that’s what made me get the idea of it,” Blake said.

Marinn Peters, a fifth-grade student at Penns Valley Intermediate School, was recognized for the diorama she made depicting several miniature earths broadening their horizons in a library.

She supports recycling because she doesn’t want to see trash wind up in the ocean where it can hurt animals. Elements of the project — including some very impressive miniature bookshelves — were created using old materials.

“I made the books out of newspapers,” Marinn said.

Each of the winning entries will be featured in a wall calendar that will be distributed to every fifth-grade student in Centre County come December. Weis patrons will also be able to pick up a copy free of charge in stores.

Click here to see a gallery of all the winning posters.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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