Tryon fifth graders learn how single-use plastics harm environment

Thanks to funding from the Tryon Garden Club’s Community Grant program, fifth graders at Tryon Elementary School recently learned about single-use plastic and what to do about its impact on our environment.

Robin and Dave Edgar, co-authors of the book Fantastic Recycled Plastic, worked with Tryon Elementary fifth-grade science teacher Donna Godley and art teacher Parker Mullinax to create a three-day learning program that complemented the curriculum unit covering how humans affect ecosystems.

Robin Edgar, the co-founder of Generations Against Single-Use Plastic (GASP), spoke to fifth-grade science classes over a three-day period about plastic pollution and its effects on plant and animal life. The goal was to inspire the students to take action in their community to make a difference with solutions to plastic pollution.  

David Edgar then met with the same students during their art periods to make jellyfish from recycled plastic water bottles. The fifth graders will be able to use this creative “take-away” to showcase what they learned and to initiate

““The presentation really engaged the students by adding color to the black and white facts about plastic pollution. They also were very proud of the jellyfish they created and were eager to show them to their fellow classmates,” Godley said.

In addition to an instructional poster for the science room about the topic, a portion of the grant money went to the design and printing of a two-sided bookmark for the students to use to spread the knowledge of what to do about plastic pollution with others. The Edgars also donated copies of their book to the media center and to Mullinax, who will be able to do other projects making art from recycled plastic containers, with the emphasis on sharing with other students how to tackle plastic pollution.

The Tryon Garden Club, a 501c3 non-profit organization, established a community grant fund with a two-fold focus on beautification within the Polk County community and education of our natural world. To date, the Club has provided individual education grants to two Polk County elementary schools and a beautification grant to the Saluda Historic Depot and Museum.

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