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Kids raise education cash by recycling

Concord Elementary students earn funds for their new schools -


Despite the fact that their school closed this year, Concord Elementary School students earned more than $1,300 by collecting and recycling the drink pouches they use at home and in the lunchroom.

Photo Credit: 2012 FILE PHOTO - Quinn Moxley sorts recyclables stored in Katy Prestons garage. Preston, whose fifth grader just graduated from Concord Elementary, has turned in the recyclables to TerraCycle and donated the proceeds to Camp Quest, an overnight camp for kids with High-Functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome.Concord students achieved this milestone by collecting more than 18,000 drink pouches through the TerraCycle and Capri Sun’s Drink Pouch Brigade milestone contest. It is a free recycling program that rewards people for collecting and sending their waste to TerraCycle.

Surplus funds that Concord Elementary PTO has raised will go to the North Clackamas Education Foundation, which will administer teacher grants for elementary school teachers within the Rex Putnam High School feeder system. Sondra Mitchell, Concord PTO co-president, and other organizers are aiming to replicate the program at public schools that Concord Elementary kids are going to next year.

"We're very excited at how successful it was and hope to continue it at another school," she said. "Leftover student funds from Concord are going to support outdoor school for Concord Alumni sixth graders at Alder Creek Middle School next year."

Mitchell, who will have a fourth-grader and a first-grader next year, was so upset by the School Board's vote to close Concord that she considered moving her children to a private school. But she let her kids choose betwwen a private school and their neighborhood school, Bilquist, one of four remaining elementary schools in the Rex Putnam feeder system.

"They both decided to go to Bilquist, so we will see how it goes," she said.

The Milestone Program began in September 2013 when Capri Sun added prizes for collecting certain amounts. Now, in addition to the money they earn for each piece of waste collected, participants can win prizes made from recycled drink pouches, such as park benches, recycling bins and a playground.

To learn more about the program or to sign up, visit terracycle.com. The program is free to any interested organization or individual, and all shipping costs are paid.