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Livingston Academy Launches Student Recycling Program

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Livingston Academy Launches Student Recycling Program

Livingston Academy students are participating in a new recycling program that teaches them about responsibility and community.

Comprehensive Development Classroom Teacher William McDaniel said his class has been split into crews where they make weekly recycling pickups from classrooms. He said job responsibilities rotate to help students understand the different roles they may play in future careers.

“Teaches the kids a little bit of community service,” McDaniel said. “Teaches them how to be part of the Livingston community, and that gets them interacting with other students as well that they might not always get the chance to do. Helps them feel like they’re, you know, they’re doing something to help out.”

McDaniel said said early in the year, he asked the students what they believed their Livingston community needed. From there, he said, the students started a mock business through a mock application process where students worked together to decide who would be hired. That business eventually led to the idea to start the recycling service.

McDaniel said the county provided 55-gallon wheeled buckets and small, blue recycling buckets for each class.

“We might broaden it to include other items,” McDaniel said. “I’m hoping to get other teachers involved and, you know, the school is expanding right now, so we’ll have more opportunities to expand it. And then, we’re going to try and set it up for as much future success as we can.”

He said he is confident that many of the students in the class will go on to lead independent lives when they graduate from high school. He said to set them up for success, he wants to help them develop a realistic view of how each piece of a community works together.

“I come from a business background and we run things as close to a business as I can make it,” McDaniel said. “So they get that real life, real-world education and can apply it to their futures. Obviously, if not in recycling, you’re still going to have some of the same things that you need to learn for any job.”

McDaniel said after students collect recycling, he takes it to the recycling center at the county fairgrounds.

“They need to know not just how to do that, but how to take responsibility for taking care of the things that will come into their lives,” McDaniel said. “I guess being responsible a little bit for the environment helps them generate that sense of, “If I can do this, I can do other things as well,’” McDaniel said.


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