TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Jesse Kirkpatrick from King George School carries a pop can during a relay at the Recycling Olympics at Kirkcaldy Heights School on Wednesday afternoon. Five Grade 1 classes from Brandon took part in the event.
Five Grade 1 classes spent the afternoon with Walmart worker and Grade 12 student Kaileea Brooks in the Recycling Olympics at Kirkcaldy Heights School on Wednesday.
Ashley Albert is tagged by Parker Andrews as their Kirkcaldy Heights Grade 1 teacher Kristy Marvin cheers them on during a relay at the Recycling Olympics at Kirkcaldy Heights School on Wednesday afternoon. Five Grade 1 classes from Brandon took part in the event. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
David Paddock of Green Acres School throws a piece of paper in a recycling bin during a relay at the Recycling Olympics at Kirkcaldy Heights School on Wednesday afternoon. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
When Brooks became Walmart’s My Sustainability Plan leader less than two months ago, she did not expect to be teaching Grade 1 students about recycling.
"I had planned one event for the Walmart staff to take part in," Brooks said. "But one of my managers suggested that we get kids involved since it was close to Earth Day."
Although the Recycling Olympics are a little late for Earth Day, Linden Lanes, Green Acres and King George elementary schools each sent one class of students to take part in the games. Several Walmart employees joined the students and Brooks to help out with the Recycling Olympics.
Brooks’ original idea had only been one event, but she had fun expanding it to include two additional challenges and make it work for a much younger age group.
"We chose to do this with the Grade 1 students because they really are the future," said Brooks.
"Hopefully if they continue to learn about recycling at an early age they will remember the importance."
Brooks hopes the students to go home today and tell their parents how much fun they had recycling. She said that if they have fun, they will remember what they learned.
"The kids will take part in three activities, two relays and a scavenger hunt," Brooks said. "The different activities will teach them different ways to help keep the earth clean."
The two classes from Kirkcaldy Heights took turns participating in the recycling relay, wash it out and pick it up challenges.
The kids cheered loud and shared different things they know about recycling while watching the other class race to finish first.
The first relay race got the classes to sort out the different types of recyclables into bins marked paper, cans and cardboard.
The kids were excited to be outside and eager to answer questions about helping keep the earth clean.
During the second challenge the students sorted their black and white shirt and learned how to use less energy by hanging their clothes to dry.
The students finished the day with a scavenger hunt to see which school could collect the most amount of recyclables from around the playground.
"The whole day was such a blast," Brooks said afterwards. "I had so much fun working with the kids."
The day ended with Kirkcaldy Heights finishing in first, followed by Green Acres in second.
Walmart gave the first place school $500, second place $300, and the two other schools both $200.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 3, 2012