Union Grove works to keep things green

Student Zack Jones plays the character “Trash” from a “The Day the Trash Came Out to Play,” a book Keep Blount Beautiful coordinator Charlene Desha read to the students.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Student Zack Jones plays the character “Trash” from a “The Day the Trash Came Out to Play,” a book Keep Blount Beautiful coordinator Charlene Desha read to the students.

David Lotz captures Zack Jones, who is portraying the character “Trash.”

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

David Lotz captures Zack Jones, who is portraying the character “Trash.”

Charlene Desha and Lady Bug with Keep Blount Beautiful speaks to students at Union Grove Elementary School about recycling.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Charlene Desha and Lady Bug with Keep Blount Beautiful speaks to students at Union Grove Elementary School about recycling.

Students at Union Grove Elementary recently learned about recycling from a Lady Bug.

During a December Recycling Day event at the school, Keep Blount Beautiful coordinator Charlene Desha brought Lady Bug, the mascot for Keep America Beautiful, to the school to teach students about the dangers of littering.

“She just really likes to entertain the kids,” Desha said of the costumed Lady Bug. “She’s got a big Lady Bug head. She’s really cute, and they really like her. We tell the kids not to be a litter bug because Lady Bugs don’t like litter bugs.”

Desha said she and her volunteers did a program for the whole school. “We talked about recycling, what could be recycled, what they were recycling at school and how to recycle at their house,” she said. “The program was geared for each grade.”

The Keep Blount Beautiful coordinator said Union Grove Elementary works to recycle different items. Currently they’re recycling aluminum cans, mixed paper, cardboard and newspaper and phone books, she said.

Desha said Union Grove Middle School also works on keeping green. “Both schools are doing a recycling program to try to go green,” she said.

Middle school teacher Debbie Ballard spoke recently about a couple of initiatives the students have embarked on to help stray animals in the community and to also help clean up the environment.

“We’ve taken up tons and tons of telephone books and are collecting food for Animal Works,” Ballard said.

The students usually collect between 1,500 to 2,000 phone books. “We have a connection with local businesses, and we’re able to collect, even from Knoxville. We bring them here to be recycled,” Ballard said.

Desha said she comes to speak at schools whenever she’s invited. “It’s very important,” she said. “The kids are our future, and they will carry on this tradition and take care of the Earth.”

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