** This is a guest post from Kendal R. Miller,SEIRD Public Outreach Coordinator.
Educators at the Southeastern Indiana Recycling District (SEIRD) are working with individual schools throughout their seven-county district to provide recycling education and recycling awareness projects.
When science teacher, Mrs. Dugle of Madison Jr. High School in Jefferson County telephoned SEIRD public outreach coordinator, Kendal Miller, about having her students become more proactive in raising public awareness about recycling, Miller came up with a plan.
Last school year, SEIRD—at that time known as the Southeastern Indiana Solid Waste District (SISWD)—sponsored a “Create a Recycling Ad Contest” across the district. Over 350 pieces of artwork were submitted to the organization in hopes of being used in SISWD print ads across Franklin, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Scott, and Switzerland Counties.
“It was a big hit, although we would have liked to have had a better response from the upper grades,” Miller said. Ten winning ads appeared in district newspapers over Earth Day.
It wasn’t until Miller judged Earth Day contests in the Switzerland County School District last school year that she realized that she wasn’t giving students due credit for their potential.
“I saw informative educational recycling brochures, PowerPoint presentations, posters, reuse crafts, and gardening projects created by students of all ages—I was impressed,” said Miller.
When Mrs. Dugle asked about collaborating with SEIRD to help raise public awareness for recycling, Miller presented the radio ad contest that she had thought of during the print contest. Pupils not only wrote potential ads for SEIRD, but the winners would serve as the on-air talent by voicing their winning submissions. Students from Ms. Saunder’s science class also participated.
A list of guidelines was presented to the teachers that included mandatory required elements for submissions. Advertisements were to be as close to :60 as possible and include SEIRD’s website address, telephone number, and the tagline, “Your Partner in Protecting the Earth.” Students were encouraged to study SEIRD’s website and were given a PowerPoint presentation that Miller had used during classroom presentations at the school several months ago.
Entries were narrowed down to around ten, with the finalists going on to Miller.
“They were all good,” Miller said. “It came down to the two ads that creatively showcased our services and included informative recycling information.”
Winners included Lauren Cardo, a student of Mrs. Dugle’s, who centered her ad around hard to dispose of items including household hazardous and pharmaceutical waste. A team of writers—Aleah Cutshall, Lillie Leach, and Taylor Strouse–were also winners. The trio centered focused their entry on saving energy, reducing waste, and reusing items.
Cardo, Cutshall and Strouse voiced their ads in Principal Jill Mire’s office, with the assistance of WIKI sales manager Kristin Clevenger. A reporter and photographer from The Madison Courier also appeared to report on the student’s recycling project.
The winning ads will be broadcast on 95.3 WIKI radio station Dec. 10-Dec. 28 between the hours of 6am and midnight. Winners received a certificate and a gift bag full of recycled products.
Miller hopes to collaborate with other schools on various recycling projects throughout the school year.
“This was a fun way for students to learn more about recycling while being ‘educators’ in the process. It’s a win-win for the environment and everyone involved,” Miller said.