Go Green Project at L'Anse Creuse Helps More Than Just Environment

The L'Anse Creuse Public Schools have developed and implemented many service-learning projects over the years.  During that time they have worked hard to standardize their projects by partnering with organizations/businesses in the community, utilizing their student's voices while planning, and reflecting on their efforts once projects are completed.  It is through these successful efforts that one of the projects created at L'Anse Creuse High School (LCHS) will be implemented in 14 additional schools this spring.


The "Go Green" Recycling Drop-Off Event, which allows community members to drop off used electronic equipment, was developed by Denise Sargent, a LCHS science teacher and service-learning coordinator.  Denise coordinated the event along with Classic Computer Recovery, Inc., the LCHS principal, seven fellow science teachers, two service-learning coordinators, and 150 students.  The event saw nearly 500 vehicles drop off enough trash materials to fill three semitrailers.


The event was created after Denise began to realize the environmental effects electronic waste will inflict on our planet in the coming years.  LCHS students answered her call to service by educating their peers and community members about the importance of electronic waste recycling and conducting the "Go Green" event.


Service-learning connects student's curriculum to a service experience making learning intellectually challenging and relevant to the real world.  Students apply what they learn in the classroom to important community issues.  The LCHS students aimed to inform others about the importance of recycling used electronics, but thanks to their success also found another way to impact the community.


Classic Computer Recovery, Inc. paid LCHS $3 for every vehicle that donated during the "Go Green" event, resulting in a $1,500 total.  Denise and her students decided to continue the circle of giving in their community by purchasing hygiene products, making toiletry kits, and donating them to the Macomb Homeless Coalition.


"The constant circle of giving is a huge component of service-learning," says Denise.  "For students to see that their work is actually helping someone and learning the process it takes to get to that point is awesome!"


On Earth Day 2009, April 22, 14 schools will conduct their own "Go Green" Recycling Drop-Off Events to collect used electronic equipment - thanks to the success exhibited by LCHS.  Denise says implementing this project at more schools is just the first step to making the project more widespread.


"This project allows kids to be proactive.  Twenty years from now, if no one thinks about the effects of this waste we could be facing a huge problem," she explains.  "But with everyone pitching in, we can address the problem early and perhaps turn it into a state and nationwide trend."