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Free lessons to teach recycling awareness in elementary schools

The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) launched its Recycling Rangers program for elementary school teachers. The goal of this year’s educational program is to heighten student, teacher and family awareness of clothing and textile recycling by engaging more than 2,500 teachers in grades K-through-5 in its Recycling Rangers program. In addition to free lesson plans for their classrooms, teachers are also encouraged to promote recycling by organizing textile recycling drives at their schools.

The Recycling Rangers program builds on the highly successful 2012-13 academic year, “Wear It? Recycle It!” lesson plan program. During the “Wear It? Recycle It!” program, more than 300,000 students learned about clothing and textile recycling.

The Recycling Rangers program includes monthly activities for teachers and students that will be used to teach children about the positive impact of clothing and textile recycling. One of the goals of the program is to have teachers become Recycling Rangers and to have their school host a clothing and textile recycling program. SMART member companies are sponsoring 14 regions throughout the United States and are prepared to work with the teachers and their schools to host a textile recycling drive.

Teachers who participate by hosting a an event have the opportunity to win monthly prizes for their classrooms.

The grade-appropriate lesson plans can be downloaded at no cost by visiting www.themailbox.com/smart. The web site also allows teachers to sign up to host their own textile recycling drive when they become a Recycling Ranger.

“We are very excited to present the Recycling Rangers program to teachers and students. As the trade association of the clothing and textile recycling industry, SMART’s goal is to reach more than 1 million students with the positive message of textile recycling by the end of 2015,” said Jackie King, executive director of SMART. “Our member companies really stepped up by sponsoring regions throughout the United States to make it as easy as possible for teachers to host a clothing recycling event at their own school.”

The Recycling Ranger program runs through March 2014. In addition to the Recycling Rangers website, teachers can learn more about the program in Learning magazine, via The Mailbox elementary school activities, in an e-newsletter, and on The Education Center’s Facebook page, Twitter account and in various blogs.